31 December 2012

This Month... December

Things that made me smile...
« Frosty dog walks « perfecting nail sticker art « making resolutions « opening my Percy Pig advent calendar « Christmas (duh!) « passing my First Aid at work qualification (go me!) « lovely work Christmas meals « last day before the Christmas break « lots of time off work relaxing

Cool things I have discovered this month...

Elsie's mistmatched yellow painted chairs really caught my attention, I love this idea.  I have been dreaming of mismatched painted chairs for my dining room table for ages.  I think I would go for similar looking chairs and then paint them different colours.

I love this article about the old dis-used London tube stations.  When I lived in London I had such a fascination with the tube, it's history and many ghost stories.  It's great that this little piece if history still remains untouched under the ground.  But alas, it's one of those many reasons why it would still be awesome to (sometimes) live in London so I could visit this.

Anyone else enjoy The Snowman and the Snowdog on Christmas Eve? I LOVED it! But then again it was just exactly the same as the original except for the addition of the dog.  I am a HUGE Snowman fan, it came out in the early 80's so I grew up with it and have watched it every Christmas.  I wasn't so sure about this re-make at first, I didn't really see the point, but after learning that it was animated in the same way with the original animators I kind of warmed to it.  It is not a Raymond Briggs story but he gave his blessing.  I am very pleased it didn't ruin the original, and of course had me in tears right from the start!

I loved this little talk given my Emily Martin of The Black Apple I have been a big fan of her blog for a while now.  It is always strange hearing your favourite bloggers speak, you feel like you get to know them so well through their blogs and naturally conjure up an image of how they are and what they sound like, so to hear them speak is very odd!  She comes across as very nervous, but gives some really good advice and, by the sound of it, worked super hard to get where she is.

A new Peter Rabbit animation started this month on CBeebies and much like what I said above about The Snowman, I wasn't quite sure about this one either.  It is strange how nothing seems new for kids today, they just seem to re-hash things from when we were little.  But if it gets kids interested in these amazing stories then I guess it is fine by me.  I did catch one of these episodes, and it was great! I like how the animators spent time in the Lake District capturing images so they could get the scenery right, well done them! Read more in this little article here...

I am going crazy over my new favourite blog discovery this month Attic 24.  Lucy's blog is super inspiring to any crocheters out there her creations and just beautiful, so pretty and best of all super colourful.  I have fallen in love with her interlocking ripple blanket.  Her crochet creations make me so inspired and excited for my own projects in 2013, I just wish I had just a teeny bit of her talent and creativity.

Well that's it for December, I haven't really seen any new TV, aside from those mentioned above and I have only discovered one new blog! (But as it's a new very fave that's ok!) December usually wizzes by, but this month seems to have dragged! I have been so ready for my 2 weeks off and for Christmas, I have really enjoyed this last week of doing nothing much and relaxing.  I hadn't meant to have such a long break from blogging either, but with the computer slowly dying (ugh!) and wanting to just relax I have taken rather longer than anticipated.  But I am back to a regular blogging schedule for 2013...

Hope you have an amazing NYE whatever it is you are doing, I amazingly, am going out to a house party! I think I have been in watching TV the past few years... just have to peel myself up off the sofa and make myself look pretty (I will probably aim more for presentable!) now...

19 December 2012

Button Christmas Decorations

More crafty Christmassy goodness for you today! I actually made these last year and as I didn't have a 'proper' blog last year I have yet to share these with you, lovely readers!  So I must apologise for the photos, I took these last year on a bad phone camera and I think both my camera and photography skills have improved slightly since then ( I hope? Jen?).

I was so happy with how these little felt Christmas trees turned out, and you can never go wrong with button detailing! Everything looks a million times better with buttons sewed on, and of course the more the better!

To get the shape for these I actually used cookie cutters! Perfect! I just drew round them onto paper and then used the paper template, pinned to the felt to cut out the shapes.  I was careful with small details, as you can see the green tree has red buttons sewed on with green thread and edged in red blanket stitch. (does anyone else LOVE blanket stitch!) and then vice versa with the red tree.  I picked some pretty ribbon and ricrac (my absolute favourite crafty embellishment ever!) to hang.

These little decorations were given away to friends and family as presents, and I was so pleased to see this little guy hanging up at my parent's house this year when I went to visit the other day...

Well I was hoping that these past couple of xmas craft posts would finally get me into the Christmas spirit! Nope, nothing yet! Poo! I just don't feel Christmassy at all, when will this kick in or am I just too old these days?

17 December 2012

Crochet Christmas Stars & Snowflakes

I have had so much fun making these little crochet star and snowflake decorations over the past few weeks.  They are going to be little presents for family and friends.  I like making things to give as presents, think it makes it extra special that you have put time, effort and thought into something. 

I think they are very effective and they are also very inexpensive.  I paid a couple of pounds each for the balls of wool (which would make many!) and then a couple of pounds for the ribbon. So each decoration would work out as literally pennies! The buttons you will find from your button stash (I know most of you who will be reading this blog will have a button stash!)

How to make the snowflake:

Foundation Ring
Ch5, join with SS to form ring.

Round 1
Ch1 (2dc in ring, ch3) 6 times, join with ss in first dc.

Round 2
Ss in next dc, ch1, *(2dc, ch3, 2dc) into next ch-3 space, repeat from * 5 times more, join with ss to first dc.

Round 3
Ch1, *(1dc, ch3, 1dc, ch5, 1dc, ch3, 1dc) into next ch-3 space, ch2, repeat from * 5 more times, join with ss into first dc and fasten off.

This pattern is taken from '150 Blocks to Knit & Crochet' by Heather Lodinsky, 2011 Quarto Publishing.

Sew in all your ends with a wool needle and then I just sewed on the ribbon and button detail for decoration.

How to make the star:

Foundation Ring
Ch5, join with a ss to form ring.

Round 1
Work 5tr into the ring, with 1 ch between each tr.  Join with a ss to first tr.

Round 2
In the centre stitch of each of the 5 trebles work (3tr, 2ch, 3tr) with 1 ch between each group. Ss to join.

Round 3
Ss into first tr of previous round then in the chain space from previous round work a *(3tr, picot, 3tr) group. Ss into first tr of previous round, ch2, ss into third tr of previous round then repeat from * into the next 4 chain spaces.  Join with a ss and sew in ends with a wool needle.

Picot = 2ch, dc back into the st where the 2ch started.  This forms a nice little point to the corners of your star.

This pattern is my own re-working and cobbling together of various star patterns I have found in books and online.  There are loads of great star patterns, just search in Pinterest as a starting point.

I hope the pattern makes sense, let me know if you try it and get stuck, I would be happy to try and explain it better!

Well I am now contemplating making more so I can keep a few for myself.  I have already made double what originally planned as I keep thinking of other people to give them to!  But they are so easy to make, you can make a several in one evening.  (But don't tell people that! a LOT of effort goes in to them really!) hehe!

Have you crocheted any xmas decorations this year?  Would love to see...

Thanks so much for popping by, I have LOADS of new FREE crochet patterns coming up on the blog, don't miss them, subscribe now via Bloglovin here

10 December 2012

Nails recently...

It occurred to me that I haven't posted any nail pictures recently.  I am certainly still painting my nails (have never not had painted nails in the past 15 years! Hence why they are all peely and gross and yellow when bare, eek!) and I usually take pictures of them but these ones haven't made it onto my blog yet.

As you can see I have become a little obsessed with my nail stickers! For all my designs recently I have been testing out the different stickers.  You can buy the stickers here.

Last week I fell in love with these nails by Kaylah, on The Dainty Squid...

I love her weekly nail posts, I don't usually copy out right, but I thought these looked so fab I had to give it a go, here is a pic of my attempt...

Not too bad I think! I love using these stickers, they are super easy and don't leak or pull off the varnish underneath, can't recommend them enough.  What I will say though is that nails like these take a looong time, so don't do them when you are rushing and only when you are in a patient mood! (I speak from frustrated experience! hehe).

7 December 2012

Style Crush - Katie, Skunkboy Creatures

This month's style crush is Katie from the blog Skunkboy Creatures.  I love Katie's style, she is super girly and almost doll or child like in her outfit choices.  Is that a bad thing for a grown woman?  I sometimes wonder if my outfit choices but are a bit child-like, but I like to wear what makes me happy and that usually means pretty animal prints and polka dot tights!  I would love her range of pretty cotton printed dresses, but I am guessing where she lives is a little warmer than Carlisle!

I prefer blogger style to celeb style anyday, follow the links to see my previous style crush posts on Elycia, Kaylah and Elsie.  I really want to repeat all of these now as there have been soooo many pretty outfit posts since I collated these. 

Who has the best blogger style in your opinion??

5 December 2012

A Crochet Snood

I finally finished a little ongoing crochet project the other evening.  Personal crochet projects have been put aside for Christmas projects recently so I was pleased to pick up my hook and get this little pressie for me finished.

It is such pretty wool, it is dark blue but has some purpley pinky strands in it so it looks kind of shimmery in different lights.  I thought I would add a little detail to it with the button, I couldn't resist these huge wooden ones in my local craft shop on my last visit.

Of course when I was taking these photos Meg's love of buttons made her a little bit of a nuisance! (She is being so attention seeky and naughtly over past couple of days, little scamp, but I can't stay mad at that little face for very long!)

This project was extremely easy and a great one for the new crocheter, or those who, like me, are a bit scared of complicated patterns!
  1. Start with a chain, just keep going until it is the desired length, just hold it together round your neck to decide what size you want.
  2. Once chain desired length join with a slip stitch to form a ring.
  3. I used a 6mm hook and my wool was a double knitting chunky style.
  4. The stitch I used was a half treble stitch, if you are unsure how to do this I highly recommend this YouTube video (it is American so they call it a half double stitch, so confusing!)
  5. Start with second stitch from hook and just work a half treble into each chain and literally just keep going round and round, so easy!
  6. Stop when you get to desired height.  I just kept trying it on until it looked right! If you do make one like this be aware that with a spiral the top will not look completley level, but really you can't tell unless you look closely!
It's maybe not perfect (I blame Meg for the holes, she wasn't impressed when I wouldn't let her chew the button!) but I like it, little imperfections add to the homemade charm, and you really can't tell when you are wearing it.  (Hope you are not too scared by the huge make-up free pic of my morning face!).

Have you crocheted anything recently?  Would love to have a look...

3 December 2012

We found some snow!

Saturday was the perfect start to Christmas month, it was very cold, but crisp and clear and sunny so a nice brisk walk was in order.

We went to Armathwaite woods, one of our favourite walking places, and Kara came along too...

We were so happy to find some snow up there! yeah, ok so it was just a teeny bit but still made me smile.  Just for the record if it does not snow this Winter, and I mean proper snow, at a depth that your boots disappear when you walk in it, I will NOT be impressed! Come on Mr Weatherman, we had a crappy Summer, give us a decent Winter!

Kara likes posing on rocks...

and balancing on logs!

We were not the only visitors to the woods that day, we spied some deer hoof prints, and Marky saw a deer too! I didn't, blind as a bat old me was looking the wrong way, as usual!

Here is a wee video of Kara being all 'show doggy' and jumping on the rocks like an agility course, aw, she did so well on the slippy frosty rocks...

Was a very lovely, pretty, frosty walk but very cold, so big hot chocs and huge Chinese food was in order when we got home....