Thursday, 29 March 2012

Sunny Spring Days

Oh wow! Hasn't Spring arrived with a bang this week?! Spring and Autumn have always been my favourite seasons - something about changes being afoot and beautiful colours. Makes me happy!

Today, Mr f&f had a day off and we went on another day trip. We stopped for lunch at a park, sitting on a bench to eat our sandwiches, with the background chorus of ducks quack, quack quacking away.

The chatty ducks merged in with sprinkling water as in the middle of the lake was a water feature. It all combined to make a very peaceful lunchtime.

Once tummies had been filled, we went for a little stroll and I got very excited when I spied a magnolia tree in the distance....after a bit of encouragement to the Little Boys we finally reached it and my, it was worth it.

It was a stunning tree, covered in blooms and surrounded by a gentle perfume. If I closed my eyes, inhaled the perfume and listened to the gentle sound of ducks and sprinkling water it was The Perfect Spring Day. If only it could be bottled! In fact it was so lovely, I'm going to share another picture of those fantastic flowers!

The longer afternoons have also meant more play time in the garden after school

Yesterday I sat outside with a cup of tea and my Sky Blanket chatting away to Little Girl (well, more listening to be honest, she's a little chatter-box!). I'm nearly all caught up now which is great - as you can expect there's a lot of blue after the past few days!

I'd better go and do another blue line for today, I don't want to fall behind again - hope you're all having fun, happy, sunny days.

S x

Todays sky ● blue!

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

The last few days have been mostly about.....

...waking up on Saturday morning to misty, grey skys

...going on a bit of a road trip and ending up in Monmouth on a beautiful sunny afternoon

...and then sitting by the river enjoying a coffee (me - I needed the caffeine!) and ice-cream (the Littlies) whilst watching dogs jumping in to chase the ducks and swans

...meeting up with folks on a sunny Sunday to have a celebration for Little Boy turning three

...taking the Littlies on a train and the underground yesterday (no mean feat I can tell you!) to go to the Natural History Museum to see all the dinosaurs

...literally having to pick Little Boy up off the floor once we got home as he was cream crackered!!!

 is all about relaxing and enjoying the sunshine!

Hope you're all having a lovely day,

S x

Today's sky ● brilliant blue

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Weekend fun

How was your weekend? Did you have fun? If you're a mum I hope you were spoilt rotten!

On Saturday I took my little girl on a trip to The Knitting Hut as there was a book launch for Knitted Meerkats. I hadn't thought I'd be able to make it originally so I hadn't realised that there was going to be a real live Meerkat - Itchy - there! So cute and Little Girl couldn't stop stroking him the entire time we were there.

Now I have to be honest and say that when I went, I hadn't been planning on buying the book as I wasn't really sure that I would ever knit a Meerkat or even that I knew anyone who would really want one, but once I saw this I quickly changed my mind!
Book image © Knitted Meerkats by Sue Stratford 

A knitted dress-up meerkat dinosaur! I mean, how cool is that?! Little Boy loves dinosaurs and it's his birthday next week so it felt like it had to be knit! After buying the book and kit I headed home and made a start.

The kit's are really good and include everything that you need to make up your meerkat including the stuffing and come packaged in a sealable bag - I think it would make a great gift for knitting friends. I managed a little bit of knitting time (you can see the head in progress up above!) and hopefully I'll have a finished pic for you very soon. If you're interested in getting a meerkat kit then have a peak here

For anyone that's thinking of getting the book, I'd definitely recommend it! The book is really clearly written and includes basic patterns for the adult and baby meerkat, with twenty different 'outfits' that you can dress them up in......Meer Punk always makes me smile and with the Olympics coming up I'm thinking that I should maybe make up a whole team of Acrobat Kats!?! And Little Girl is quite taken by Mummy Meerkat with a baby carrier!

This one's next on my list though........Mr f&f writes and sings with a couple of his friends so maybe I'll even make a little rock band, what do you think?!
Book image © Knitted Meerkats by Sue Stratford

With Sunday being Mothers Day I got told to stay in bed (something I was happy to comply with!), and was bought breakfast, cards and some pressies.

Mr f&f had got me some books about making fabric and yarny flowers! And unbeknownst to him, he bought a book that I've been coveting for ages 100 flowers to knit and crochet. I'm so excited with it, I keep having quick flicks through planning which ones I could maybe try first. Imagining a whole display of yarny flowers. Could be fun I think.

I also managed to stock up on sky blanket yarn so I'm working on catching up, only a few more rows to add now

Hope you've all had lovely weekends,


Todays sky ● blue with clouds (suddenly starting to get overcast now - boo!)

Thursday, 15 March 2012

Time flies!

Ohhh, look at that! Over a whole week's gone by. How did that happen?! This tidying lark takes a lot more time than I thought it would!

Other than sorting, clearing, tidying and cleaning I spent the weekend visiting my folks down in Wiltshire. Seems a bit silly to tell you about it now as we're only two days away from the next weekend! Anyhoo, the weather was lovely on Saturday so we headed to a nearby town with food for us and the ducks. The Littlies loved throwing in the bread (although I had a minor panic whenever little boy got too close to the edge - he has no fear!) and the ducks and swans were very well fed by the time we headed home.

One of the things that I rediscovered at my folks place was a quilt I made about 15yrs ago! I kind of remembered doing it but had completely forgotten about it! It was one of my summer projects whilst I was at uni (so I guess I must have been around 20yrs?) and I machine pieced it together. Some of the fabrics are really nice but they don't really all go together and my piecing isn't perfect...I remember not feeling entirely satisfied with it when I finished.

However, as a first attempt I guess it's not too bad and my mum was actually saying that they use it lots and got a bit concerned that I wanted to take it home with me (I didn't!). Quilting is something I've been thinking about for a while as I would love to make a proper quilt cover but I think I might have to build myself up to it. It scares me a little.

Progress on the sky blanket has also stalled as I've run out of one of the colours. Disaster! I'm hoping to pick some more up on Sunday and then there'll be a bit of catching up to do. I've been really surprised by how much I miss my post-lunch hooky so it will be good to have a full yarn stock again.

Instead I've been doing a bit of sewing and managed a new notebook made with some of the fabric I bought the other week which I'll be adding to my shop

Hope you're all well,


Today's sky • overcast...with fog!

Monday, 5 March 2012

The small things

It's the small things that can make so much difference to your day, I find - either add the finishing touch or be the thing that leaves you counting to ten and taking deep breaths.

One of the things that has had me pulling my hair out recently is Littlest Boy's habit of pulling the tablecloth any which way he can when he climbs up at the table often resulting in the spillage of whatever's on the table, or the perfectionist in me getting very annoyed that the table cloth isn't just so!

And this morning I decided that I could remove this stress from my life! I had some spare oilcloth in the cupboard (I normally get a meter at a time and find that this does two tablecloths), did a little bit of measuring and off I went.

Using the length of the table  (+ 0.5cm for a bit of ease) to calculate the maximum border that I had spare, I trimmed the fabric width to give the same sized border so that all the sides would be equal. I've never worked with oilcloth before and have to say I found it very tricksy to fold accurately. But we got there in the end with the help of some clips!

I then drew a square in each corner to create a mitred corner

A quick bit of sewing across each of the corners.......

....a trim of the excess  fabric and I was done! (Can you see I've already had to make a second tighter line - I figured it would be better to work generously so that I didn't ruin the fabric!)

And voila, one fitted tablecloth! It could maybe be a little snugger on the corners, but I'll see how this works out for now.

It made lunch a lot more peaceful I can tell you! And I'll try not to dwell on the fact that I could have done this ages ago and instead enjoy the little bit of peace that it has bought to my days now!

Hope you've found some little things to enjoy today,


Todays sky ● blue with some clouds

Sunday, 4 March 2012

Crafting and Bouncing!

It's been a fun week! The 1st of March was beautifully sunny which resulted in a little bit of crafting and a  little bit of bouncing!!!!

Am not sure if I mentioned I had a bit of a sort-out of my knitting and crochet stash the other day??? Ooohhh, it was a little bit scary, I can tell you. I was very good though, I kept projects-worth of stuff (I can see a lot of socks in my future, I hadn't realised what a sock-yarn addiction I had!) and sorted what was left-over into bags: one for people who knit blankets for dogs and another for swapping. It felt very good I can tell you. But it left me realising that I have lots of crochet hooks and DPNs with no real place to keep them. Hmmmmm.

And then it hit me: a nice quick project recycling some of the glasses that I had waiting to go to the recycling bin. Cheap and quick. Just my sort of project!

I fetched out my decopatch paper and glue and set to. Am not sure if you've ever tried decopatch but it's ever so, stick, rip, stick. Ahhhh! I first heard out about it over at attic24 a couple of years back and got myself a few basics. I've done a few things but hadn't really thought much more about them. Until I looked at those glass jars! I got a few different blue-patterned paper and started tearing them into stamp sized pieces
And then the sticking I am half-way through my first jar. Doesn't it look like patchwork? I love how the papers are so thin that you can see where they overlap, especially when light shines through them. I'm now thinking of covering a small jar for tealights - they could look magical!
In the end I did two jars and I'm really pleased with how they came out: just the right size for my spare hooks and needles. And I think qualifies as my first project for Pretty Crafty Home?! They're going to look lovely on my craft desk.

They didn't take me long to do, but doing them in Daylight Hours meant that the little boys were a little bit antsy by the time I'd finished. Being the first day of March though, the sun had come out to play and it was beautiful so we went bouncing on the trampoline.

Look at that, not a cloud in the sky!

It was such good fun, especially seeing Littlest Boy figuring out that he really could bounce up and down! Last year he was too little and Really Didn't Like the trampoline. This time though he Totally Got It and was having a ball! Little Boy also had a lot of fun bundling Littlest Boy. And when I laid down to take this picture they both enjoyed bundling me. It was quite exhausting!

In the last few days, I've also had the chance to pop into a charity shop and happened across a Boden cord skirt. In my size. How lucky was that?! I have to confess that I didn't care for the colour much, it's not really me, but I figured that a pack of clothes dye would sort that out. So that's this weeks project. I'll have to show you the after pictures soon!

And finally, now that that we're in March there's the first signs of spring to enjoy
These are some little tete-a-tete's that I planted last year or so. They are just so dainty and make me smile everytime that I walk past them. I just love daffodils - any type or size - they're one of my favourite flowers and always make me feel happy. Maybe its their colour? Its hard to be sad with yellow, isn't it?!

I hope you're all enjoying the first signs of spring too and have had a great weekend,

S x

Todays sky ● grey: there's been a lot of rain

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