Monday, 24 October 2011

A little teeny bit of a catch up

Erm, okaaaay, so it's been a while...I'm thinking that if I just write like I've never been away then maybe you won't notice...attempting to fill you in on all my goings-on over the past two weeks would, frankly, be a) daft and b) a bit boring for all of us, so here are the edited highlights, presented in bullet point form (I used to have a proper job once upon a time, you know, one where I was forever using bullet points.  There's not so much call for them now I spend my days running around after small, noisy people...)
I have hoovered the entire contents of not just one but two boxes of Rice Krispies off the floor/worktop/bread board/cooker.
I have caught a regurgitated marshmallow as it flew from middle n's mouth (think Witches of Eastwick and you have an idea of what my Saturday night was like).  Nice.
I have finished my blinds! more goldfish bowl-effect sitting room for us:
I'm absolutely thrilled with them - they have turned out exactly how I'd pictured them and they make such a difference to the general cosiness of the sitting room. 
I've also finished my cowl.  (Pause for a happy dance).  No pictures today though - there'll be more on that when I've found someone to take pics of me modelling it (in a headless way, of course...)
I bought a dresser on a whim; as you do:
Love it!
There's been plenty of crochet action on my summer hols blanket too:
It's neeeearly fiiiiiniiiished.
An exciting parcel also plopped onto my front door mat this week.  Here it is in action, Claire:
This is the most stunningly well-made and beautiful tea cosy I have ever seen - Claire is a real artist and I urge you to visit her lovely blog if you haven't already done so!
And now I need to go - Mr N's just walked in the door after spending three days in Paris with 90 14-year-olds.  Who'd be a teacher, eh? x

Sunday, 9 October 2011

Vintage embroidery inspiration

Despite being slightly jaded (hung over) I am all fired up and excited about what I have to show you today.  You may remember a while back I mentioned that my lovely granny had given me a load of her crafty bits that she can no longer use due to her arthritis (poor granny).  Some of these bits were used to make my spotty cushion for my sitting room, but a big stash of something tremendously exciting has been waiting in the lovely folder in the photo above (hand embroidered by my gran, of course...) for the perfect moment for me to photograph for you.  That moment presented itself today when Mr N and the boys were at the swimming pool and baby n was asleep.  So would you like to see what's getting my creative juices flowing?
An amazing collection of vintage embroidery transfers.  Most of these date from the 1930s, with a few from around 1940.  They are so beautiful and I can't believe they're all still pristine and largely unused.  Hooray for granny and her hoarder tendencies!
This little book is dated 1933.
I particularly love this one, which not only has the original transfer (from a magazine, like most of the others) but also a colour picture of how it is supposed to look when it is completed:
I could go on like this for hours, but I'll restrain myself.  Suffice to say, I am raring to get sewing - I find hand sewing so calming and therapeutic and I am so inspired by this lovely lot.  I have so many ideas for what to make with these: squares of white linen with small, single-colour pictures hung as bunting in my sitting room; plain white hankies with little pictures in one corner to give to my female relatives as Christmas presents (if you are, indeed, female and happen to be related to me, please ignore what I've just written there...); lovely embroidered cushions... hmmmm....the possibilities are endless.
And on a completely other note, I wanted to update you on a couple of rather pressing matters: I can confirm that my mattress topper is, quite possibly, the most exciting thing to happen to my bed for a long time (snort); and the tweed cowl...hmmmm...the pattern said it uses two skeins of yarn, but either I am doing something completely wrong, or this is a mistake.  Anyway, I am rejigging it to make something similar with my two skeins and I'll update you when I've managed to create something wearable (it is a very lovely yarn though, that's for sure).
Hope you all had a jolly weekend, wherever you are in the world. x
PS - Just to say 'hello' to my new followers and all you lovely gals who leave me comments - I really, honestly love reading what you have to say and I am so grateful that you stop by to read my ramblings.  I often read your blogs on my phone, which won't let me leave comments, and I just wanted to say that if I am a bit rubbish about commenting it's not because I don't visit, it's because I spend my life running round like a headless chicken and have a memory like a sieve! x

Friday, 7 October 2011

♥ Yip-de-WIP ♥

I had a rather fine morning today and I thought I'd share some photos of it with you, cos I'm that kinda gal.  Can you guess what I did??  Here's a clue:

Apologies for the rather crapsticks photo - I only had my phone with me.  Actually, it was great, I felt like some kind of secret agent walking round the shop furtively taking photos with my phone.  I say 'furtive' not only because I think it's a rather brilliant word, but because, although I'd asked if it was okay to take some photos, I find the owners of this shop faintly intimidating, so I was a bit afraid of being told off.  Although, to be frank, they were more like to have words with me about the appalling behaviour of my maniac daughter who was tired and bored and had had enough of looking a yarn, thank you very much, than about me taking the odd picture to put on my blog that not very many people read anyway.  Thank god I was with my friend who is not only a rather fabulous human being, but is also a childminder and has some sort of magic aura that instantly makes all children turn into compliant, quiet, non-stroppy, angels.  I don't know how she does it, but one second baby n was shouting 'no, no, no' in that special way that only a small, angry child can, and the next she was strapped in her pushchair silently sucking her bun-bun and playing peep-o with an old lady.  It was magic, I tell you.  Witchcraft.
But I digress, this isn't a post about how my daughter has a will of iron and a voice like a foghorn, this is a post about yarn.  I shall return to the subject in hand, without further delay.
So...yarn...and buttons:
You can't see them very well here, but there were some absolutely amazing ceramic buttons with imprints of lace in them.  I spent quite a considerable amount of time pondering the possibility of spending five quid on a button, then reality kicked in (well, it was either that or baby n spreading unravelled balls of yarn all over the shop that woke me from my button-induced reverie).
I had made a pilgrimage to this shop because I was a woman on a mission (cue rendition of Gabriella Cilmi).  I had come across this on one of my many Pinterest trawls and knew instantly that I simply had to make it:
 (this is from here)
(it's an actual, real fact that time speeds up when you log on to Pinterest.  I often spend 'five minutes' stealing other people's ideas looking for inspiration only to find that it's getting dark and I've forgotten to collect the boys from school and Mr N is walking in the door asking where his dinner is and demanding to know why I'm not wearing a frilly apron and freshly-applied lipstick).
Anyway, I succeeded in my task and came home with this, which I am more than a little excited about:
This is Rowan summer tweed and it's a mix of 70% silk and 30% cotton.  It's absolutely beautiful and is the colour of damsons with flecks of red, blue and white in it.  I'd never even heard of it before today and I'm really looking forward to seeing what it looks like when it's made up.
So the big question now is: do I start making it now or do I sensibly finish off one of the other million things I've got on the go?  For those of you who would like to make an informed answer to this question, here is my list: 1) not one, not two, but three blinds for my sitting room (the fabric is lurking ominously in a roll behind the door and every time I see it, I feel guilty for not getting on with it); 2) my summer hols blanket, which is coming along nicely, but which needs a final push to get it finished; 3) my starry Christmas decorations - I have red cotton now, so I can get on with a few little hearts to add to the garland; 4) the little rocking chair that I blogged about yonks ago, and which is currently sitting next to me in a state of half-paintedness.
This is like phone-a-friend.  I'll go with the majority (maybe) x
PS - I was very excited about my massive new pink plastic crochet hook, but I have now discovered that plastic=crap and I had to make an emergency John Lewis run to buy an extortionately expensive bamboo one.

Monday, 3 October 2011

♥ Things on my table

A little bit of early morning sun casting beautiful shadows on my favourite little tablecloth (my granny would be horrified at all the wrinkles being thrown into relief here).  I've been relishing the sun and slightly cursing the mugginess at the same time (I feel guilty for even writing that) - it's all very well being lovely and sunny, but enough of the shiny-face-inducing clamminess.  Thank you.
Humbuggishness aside, it was a joy to spend time sitting at the garden table peeling half a ton of apples that a friend gave me:
Mmmm, a cup of tea and a bit of peace and quiet while baby n was asleep - is it wrong that I love this time so much?  I do adore my daughter but really, I do love my time alone while she sleeps.  Guilt...
And my favourite table scene of all?  Why, it doesn't get any better than this:
It upsets me too much when my wine, in its unsteady wine glass, gets spilt all over the table.  I have learnt from experience, my friends.  Take it from me, beakers are the future x