Saturday, 24 March 2012

Glorious Sunshine

I am sure that we have all felt that today was such a treat. Never mind Spring, it felt like it was Summer already.

After a party this morning at which we both had great fun, this afternoon was spent preparing The Bird House. 

The Bird House was a little indulgence when we moved in. Ideal for Niamh and her friends now, the bunk area is removable and I've every intention of doing so when she gets too big. It can then become another teenage/adult space. I can quite see myself with a book and a comfy chair enjoying some solitude in years to come. Or maybe a basket of yarn and my crochet hook.

For now it needed a good tidy, sweep out and dust after the winter. A Spring Clean just like the rest of the house. I'd also bought a peg rail and shelf at the end of last summer but they had been festering in the garage neglected. The bunk is all made up with a mattress, pillow and blanket but we do need to find a proper table, my patchwork lap tray is an interim measure though it does look quite cute.

You'll notice that I found a home for the birdcages made last November for Caits birthday!

Next will be making some curtains for the windows and getting the window boxes planted up. Hopefully the new, carefully positioned shelf, will deter anyone from trying to come in through the window like they did last summer.

In many ways it was a shame to be tucked away inside but it didn't take long and then it was time to go on a flower safari to see what new blooms were saying hello.

Anemones have to be one of my favourites. Such beautiful colours, but only one gem open today.

The magnolia tree towards the end of the garden is in full bloom now and looks stunning. I'd always wanted a magnolia tree in my garden so was delighted when I discovered this one when we moved in. Such delicate flowers. True fairy skirts.

And the best bit is that we know we've got another delightful day tomorrow. 



Thursday, 15 March 2012

My Kirsty moment!

Last weekend I decided to buy myself a darning foot for the sewing machine so I could have a proper go at freehand machine embroidery.

Tonight was my first chance to have a try and it really did feel like a revolution - just like it had for Kirsty Allsopp in her telly programme. I am out to dinner tomorrow night with friends but I know what I will be trying to fit into my weekend.

It feels like Christmas!

My very first freehand flower!

Sunday, 11 March 2012

Wonderful weekends

The weather has been just lovely this weekend. Spring sure does feel on it's way. We've had lots of outdoors time, tidying up the allotment and the garden. It's great to start getting things ready for the summer ahead, reshaping things with the promise of what will come.

It's the simple things in life that make me smile and today was no exception. 

So amongst all the tidying up it felt like it was a good day to get the washing out on the line. With the washing comes one of my favourite things. My peg bag! Sad? Maybe, but there's story. 

Last summer I had been determined to make one for myself and I looked at various styles. Should I applique the front? do some freehand embroidery? come up with my own design? But then inspiration struck like a lightening bolt! Well ok not quite so dramatically, but I did have one of those moments when I wondered why I hadn't thought of it before.

When Niamh was small there were so many dear little outfits that were used for only a short period that I kept a lot of the ones I loved the most. Not that there was going to be another little one around, more that Niamh might want to dress her dolls in them (and I couldn't bear to part with them)! So last summer the thought struck to convert one of the rompers, for which I have some very fond memories, into my peg bag. The best before photo I can find is this..... 

.... it doesn't really show the suit in full glory but this is from the memory of a lovely walk in the country, all of us together on a break down in Bridport, and a very nice pub lunch afterwards. Wonderful weekends you see.

It was so easy... all I had to do was sew across the bottom where the two leg holes were and then hey presto!

How can you not smile as such a sweet little thing. I don't even put it away... it hangs in the utility room always on show.

And finally, before I head off for dinner do you remember the post where I asked what do you do with yours? Well, I cut mine up and make beautiful bunting which adorn some home made cards.

Handmade cards are the best. It's fab what you can do with an old magazine, a bit of tape and a button!


Friday, 9 March 2012

Crochet heart garland tutorial

I've been asked if I could share the pattern that I worked from to create my crochet heart garland back on the 11th february part-two.

This will be my first tutorial so please bear with me.

Crochet Heart Garland

Dc           double crochet
Htr          half treble
Tr            treble
Dtr          double treble

Round 1

Chain 4
Then make all of the next stitches into the first chain.
3 dtr
3 tr
chain 1
 chain 1
chain 2
 slip stitch

Round 2

Chain 3
In the first dtr make a dc and a htr
3 htr in the next stitch
2 htr in the next stitch
Dc in the next 4 stitches
Chain 1
Tr in the dtr
Chain 1
Dc in the next 4 stitches
2 htr in the next stitch
3 htr in the next stitch
Slip stitch into the centre

Round 3

Chain 3
Dc in the top of chain 3 from previous row
2dc in the next stitch
Dc in the next stitch
2dc in the next stitch
Dc into each of the next 6 stitches until you get to the point of the heart
Dc in each of the next 6 stitches
2dc in the next stitch
Dc in the next stitch
2dc in the next stitch
Chain 3
Slip stitch

You can then make a chain stitch of your desired length and then attach the hearts as you crochet along.

For example I chain stitched approx. 20 stitches, crocheted into the top of the heart, chain stitch 6 and then crochet into the other side of the heart. (depending on the tension of your hearts you may need to increase or decrease this figure but you can judge it pretty well by eye). I then gave a chain of about 15 stitches before adding the next heart in. I then added another 20 stitches at the end to tie up.

At the end of the process I then lightly ironed my hearts which mildly felted them to give them a warm wooly look.

Good luck


Sunday, 4 March 2012

Another wet day - but fun to be had.

Whilst it did brighten up yesterday afternoon, and we got chance to pop to the allotment and put the potatoes in, today was wet wet wet. Mr B had been up and out early on a bike ride, training for a long charity ride in September, so it was just the girls and me this morning. We all had a little unplanned treat though. 

After stories in bed Niamh went off to get dressed and got distracted in play. Cait slept... and slept.... and slept.. and slept. Me? Well I made myself a cup of tea, a bacon bagel and settled down to read through one of my favourite mags whilst listening to the radio. Unadulterated bliss for a Sunday morning. 

Can you believe that I even got to finish the mag and then do some crafting before the girls appeared! Two cards made, that's Mothers Day and my best mates birthday sorted. 

Bless my mum.... since I've been using doillies on my cushions she's been keeping her eyes open for bargains. She passed me a 'find' the other day and I washed it during the week and took a closer look. It's so very sweet. Two love birds. Thank you mum.

But one of the main activities today, after a fabulous game of Monopoly (the game made for rainy days), was a little more making at the kitchen table.

Cait got a fabulous book for Christmas called Collage Couture; Techniques for creating fashionable art by Julie Nutting. This afternoon was a chance to have a go. 

The book is a real mix of using some drawing, but a lot of collage, to create great figurines. As I am not great on the drawing stakes this seemed right up my street. I love the fact that she tends to make the main body out of old books/newspapers. Today time was against me really so I started simple. Next time I want to go for one of the really full skirt examples.

If you like papercrafts you'll like this book. I would definitely recommend it.


Saturday, 3 March 2012

A damp Saturday morning

What we all want to do when it's raining and pouring outside!