Sunday, 30 December 2012

Baby Crochet Steps

Last year, I asked if The Mother would like to be taught how to crochet and the reply was a pretty definite no. So imagine my surprise when a few days ago she mentioned that she would like me to teach her to crochet a heart pattern from the Simply Homemade magazine (Issue No.25).
Last night we finally sat down to do it, and after a few false starts and lots of unravelling we finally managed to get two decent looking heart shapes.

Mine is the turquoise one (although The Mother did the edging) and the pink one is The Mother's first attempt. Not bad eh?
She then got hugely inspired by the whole crochet shapes thing and went on to do another heart from the same pattern, and even hopped over to Attic24 and made Lucy's teeny tiny star and heart shapes.

Goodness knows what she is going to make next!

Whilst making the Simply Homemade version, we ended up adapting it quite a bit so I think I will do a tutorial for you all so that you can make them too!

Friday, 28 December 2012

Post Christmas Post

Christmas has been and gone in a whirlwind few days. The traditions, the food, the present opening, the leftovers, the torn wrapping paper, the playing with new toys, the trying to find places to put those new toys.... It completely exhausted the cat!

We had a lovely time with family- I actually feel like I get two Christmas days as we do a day at one Grandparent's and then a second at another Grandparent's, alternating who goes first each year.

A very successful flaming pudding there!!

I got some lovely presents- some fabulous textile books which I am thrilled about! (You know me and books).

From top left to right: Creative Recycling In Embroidery by Val Holmes, The Art of Embroidered Flowers by Gilda Baron, The Art of Embroidered Butterflies by Jane Hall.
And from bottom left: Stitch, Cloth, Shimmer & Shine by Sarah Lawrence, Creating Sketchbooks for Embroiderers and Textile Artists by Kay Greenlees.

So that is all very exciting!!! Having a textile book library that I can browse through at the beginning of new projects is really fantastic. The pictures just provide so much inspiration.

Mum has been working on her button collection whilst I've been away...

And I got LOTS of buttons for Christmas. They are so cute!! That jar there (below) is just full of painted wooden ones, and the red organza bag has gorgeous colourful plastic ones which are waiting to go into my button jar in Leicester.

Look at the snail!! So cute.

So I hope you all had a lovely Christmas and lots of presents, ate lots of good food and had a laugh. Next up..! New Year!!

Monday, 24 December 2012


Hi All! Just popping in to wish you seasons greetings- I can't even offer you a photo as I am writing this on my iPod whilst snuggled up in bed with a mug of hot chocolate, empty stocking at my feet and Christmas songs in my ear.
So I do hope you all have a very festive day tomorrow with lots of good food, decorations, laughter and presents! My favourite part is watching family members opening up the presents I have bought for them- especially if it is a hit!
So all that is left for me to say before I snuggle under the cover with dreams of Santa is



Edit to add:

The hamsters would also like to wish you a Merry Christmas!


Saturday, 22 December 2012

Flood Warnings


Eurgh, isn't it disgusting weather?! (Note the ghostly mark of a pigeon flying into our window- obviously very desperate to come in and shelter from the rain!)
It has been raining for what seems like days and we have to have the lights on permanently to avoid the gloom!!! My hometown is also on flood alert- as are many other towns round here. Here's hoping it doesn't flood actually on Christmas, we have lots of family to visit!

The only thing to do in a situation like this is to close the curtains, light some candles, put on a Christmassey CD (I used the new Michael Bublé Christmas one) and make some more gingerbread!


I have also been crocheting Christmas presents- except I can't show you in case they read this blog (I will definitely show you after I've given them out)! It has been lovely being able to crochet again, I didn't have any time for it whilst at uni with all the deadlines. Maybe it is time to start another blanket? What do you think?

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

A Cat & A Christmas Tree

Good Morning All!! How is your Christmas decorating going? Our tree is now up and in full working order (complete with chocolate baubles). The cat is very much enjoying this new addition to our living room and spent quite a long time yesterday perusing all the presents under the tree, paying special attention to the stand-on-it-and-pat-it-with-a-paw-to-see-what-happens test.

I brought all my presents home in a big cardboard box which delighted him even more!! It was hilarious to watch as there was a piece of red tissue paper in the bottom and he had just come in from outside with wet paws. The dye in the paper all rubbed off and he had bright red feet!!

The hamsters are also getting into the Christmas spirit and have received their first present from the lovely Emma. Milo is especially enjoying it and loves to sit in the middle with a snack.

We have been having quite mild but wet weather recently. Although I was looking through my Dad's camera last night and came across some beautifully wintry photos that he had taken a few weeks ago on Ashdown Forest- check these beauties out!

Monday, 17 December 2012

Christmas Wreath ♥

Ahhh, this evening I had intended to write up a post about our Christmas tree and the excitement that brought for our cat....but I have a bit of a routine when I turn on the laptop- emails (three different accounts!!), facebook and Attic24.
Regular readers will know how much I adore this blog, written by the hugely talented Lucy, I just cannot get enough of reading it!! I have read every single post and tried out many of the designs, and today there was such a feast for the eyes I feel I really must share it with you all!!
Just look at her Christmas wreath!!! Every time I look at it I see something new. The colours, the shapes, the textures, the exuberant over-the-topness....utterly fabulous!! Here, have another look (the photos are borrowed from the original blog post)...

I am totally, completely and utterly in love with this wreath. I don't even think I should make my own one as it probably won't compare... (but maybe just a little go????)

I have been having a look around t'internet to see if there is any more wreath eye candy- check these out!!

A holly wreath from Little Piece of Pie
Crochet Ball Wreath from Greedy For Colour
Christmas Wreath from Button Tins
And a veritable Queen of wreaths (although not necessarily crocheted) is The Baker's Daughter on Etsy.
She makes wreaths for every possible occasion and they are all beautiful- these are my favourite Christmassey ones though..


Sunday, 16 December 2012

Back Home Again!!

Finally the holidays!!! The parents came and picked myself and the hamsters up yesterday, it was a bit of a squeeze in the car but we got here eventually!
The hams have now all been tucked up in our kitchen behind the table where they should be OK.

Not as fancy as having their own room at Sweetbriar but it will do for three weeks.

I have been wandering around the house checking that everything is still here- surprising what has changed or moved or grown in three months. For example, The Mother's fabric fruit collection has dramatically flourished and there is now not one bowl,

not two bowls,

but THREE bowls!!

I came down this morning to find this cute row of candles next to my blue glass bottles. Quite mesmerising watching the dancing little flames as the kettle boiled.

Do you like my new mug? It was a secret Santa present from one of my housemates, as was the chocolate (for breakfast?)! I just like the fact the mug has a little cardi on!! So cute.

We are getting very Christmassey here, the family started on some of the decorations last week, but my job is to put up the Christmas cards (we hang them down the walls) and I did that last night. Then the tree is going to go up today!! Accompanied by Christmas songs, chocolate and ginger ale- a Power tradition! Very much looking forwards to that. I will show you the photos of it all later!

Wednesday, 12 December 2012


 Evening All! I just love this photo of Pip, taken at the first attempt at a Christmas photo shoot (it didn't go overly well!). He has got such a baby face.
I have been getting into the festive mood today as I had a day off from uni (only one more timetabled day to go and then I can relax for the holidays!!!) and whipped up a HuGe batch of gingerbread! Aided by able assistant Lucy and her cookie cutters.

Loving the different shapes, we've got a woodland theme and a dinosaur theme and a zoo theme and lots of love hearts going on all at once!!
They are extremely tasty and by the looks of things, aren't going to last until the weekend!!

The recipe is really easy- I will write it out for you so you can have a go yourself!

You will need!!

- 350g plain flour
- 1-2 tsp ground ginger
- 1-2 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1-2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 100g butter
- 175g brown sugar
- 1 egg
- 4 tbsp golden syrup

- Preheat your oven to 190°C
- Put the flour, spices and soda into a bowl, then rub in the butter until it is a bread crumb consistency.
- Add the sugar and stir in the syrup and egg to make a firm dough.
- Roll out the dough to about 5mm thick and cut your shapes.
- Place on a flour dusted or lined baking tray and bake for 10-15 minutes or until golden brown.
- Leave to cool and decorate as desired.

We haven't decorated ours- didn't have enough time before the munching began- but they look tasty all the same!
They would make fantastic and quick Christmas presents, stocking fillers or party snacks!!