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31 December 2013

2013 - A Crafty Year


Woweee! I love looking through all these pictures and remembering all my fun craft projects.  I did this post for 2012 here  and wanted to repeat it again this year.  It's great to compare the two years and look at the improvements in my crochet skills.

Here is a little re-cap if you would like to go back and look at any of the posts...

1. Back in March I made some crochet Daffodils for Mother's Day

2. In August our family had a special little arrival with the birth of my beautiful nephew Corey, I made him this little Amineko Cat.

3. As the colder weather approached I made myself a Mustard Snood in October.

4. In Spring I embarked on my first furniture restoration project, check out my colourful bookcase

5. So I went a little mad crocheting in August for Corey, here is his little rippley blanket

6. I'm crazy about these bright colourful Christmas decorations made in December. 

7. In May I decided to customise my boring plain crochet hooks with a bit of polka dot fimo

8. More crochet for Corey, in November I had a go at making a hat and some mitts

9. Yep, more crochet for Corey, this time a cute teeny monkey toy for Christmas. (full post coming soon).

10. As it got dull and dark outside in November I made some bright bunting for my little flat. 

11. A particularly rainy day in February I created a pretty flower hanging to cheer myself up.

12. My first in a new series of 'Give it a try' crochet was this pretty star pattern back in September.

13. Back in sunny August I was painting the second of my furniture projects, these colourful chairs

14. In April I had a go at an Itty Bitty Bunny, you can see the full post here.

15. In Spring I brought more flowers inside with another pretty crochet flower hanging

16. A friend had a baby girl back in January, so I hooked up this pretty blanket as a pressie.

17. For my Grandma's birthday in April I made a pretty crochet flower card

18. Yes, yet another present for Corey! But this time I attempted to sew a babygro monkey

19. In March I had a go at my own version of a rippley cushion for my Sister. 

20. My good friend's little boy turned 1 in September, so I made him a little Amineko Bunny

Well I'm really quite proud of my crafty achievements this year.  Do you have a fave from the above? Or do you have a fave crafty project that you have made this year, would love to see links... 

28 December 2013

A Weekend in Leeds

Mark's work treated all their staff to a posh weekend in Leeds recently, train tickets, 4* hotel, 3 course meal and free bar I certainly wasn't going to turn the opportunity down...

These are my posh party themed nails for the weekend.

 I love the Carlisle to Settle line, so pretty out of the train window...

We arrived at Leeds and headed straight to the shops.  it was SOOOO busy but looked all pretty dressed up for Christmas in the posh Victoria Quarter.

 A shop we discovered had SO many Iwako animal erasers, couldn't resist a quick snap...

 The shopping centre looked all Christmassy...

 I love the Corn Exchange...

 We discovered the first ever Marks and Spencer, HOW exciting!

 Our massive hotel...

 We didn't just have a room, we have a suite, get us, ooooh!

 The sky was pretty from our window...

 I went to Primark and purchased the biggest fluffiest things to keep my feet cosy...

 You know it's a posh dinner when the butter is shaped into little flowers...

 We scrubbed up quite well...

Oh yes! A much needed (did I mention there was a free bar, yep yep, our heads were a little sore!) massive breakfast buffet, Oh I do love a hotel breakfast buffet, drooool....

Bye bye room 733 we had a very nice time! 

26 December 2013

Crochet Christmas decorations

It has become a little tradition to make some handmade decorations for friends and family to give as presents at Christmas.  You can see previous years' creations here and here. This year I was in a colourful mood and I thought my stash of Rico Creative Cotton yarn leftover from my bunting would be perfect for the job.

 
The pattern for the bauble decoration can be found here on Attic 24 (of course!) I decided not to put the little bead or bell details on as I prefer them quite simple.


For the star decorations I found the pattern here  a lovely little Etsy shop called ATERGCrochet.  You can purchase and download the PDF pattern for just a few pounds.  I made two identical stars and then joined them together by single crocheting around the edges then adding a little toy stuffing in between.  To finish off the stars I added a little button.  (everything looks better with a button!).



I started off by making these ones you see above on my tree, the red and purple baubles and the star but I loved them soooo much I decided to keep these ones (oops!) does anyone else do that? So I set about making a few more to give away as gifts.  They are all relatively easy to make and I enjoy small crochet projects like this.
Did you make any Christmas crochet?  I would love to have a peek if you want to leave links...

25 November 2013

Life lately...

Couldn't resist these super cute xmas decs from Wilkinsons, they are not overly Christmassy, so I figure I can keep them up all year round????

 Jen and I went on a ghost tour of Carlisle Castle in the dark! eek.

 Realising that my habit has got a bit out of control!
 
 Falling in love with a new favourite smell.

 Going on a little dream house hunting trip.

Curling up in the cosiest warmest mismatched knits.

 FINALLY updating my iPhone! Love it, why did I not do this sooner?
 
 Starting to feel all Christmassy seeing the pretty lights in town.

 Evenings in on the sofa with this cute little upside down face.
 
Completing our bunting project at work!

24 November 2013

We went bothy camping...

On Friday night after work in the freezing cold and pitch black we decided to go and sleep in a little stone hut in the middle of the woods!

I love camping, but this was my first experience of a bothy.  According to the Urban Dictionary a bothy is 'a basic shelter, usually left unlocked and available for anyone to use free of charge.'  Luckily living in Cumbria we have quite a few to choose from.  It's a bit of an adventure as you never know if there will be someone in there! But who is stupid enough to camp in sub zero temperatures in the middle of November? haha.
Here is Marky acting as an ideal 'scale' guide so you can see how small our little home for the night was.  It is just one room, stone floor and fire place.  But we were happy to see it was clean and looked after well.  There was a little wooden table and chairs and a bookshelf where kindly people leave useful stuff like board games, candles, hot chocolate etc.  For people that use these bothies regularly it is generally accepted that you leave it as you find it of course, and ensure you replace any firewood and perhaps leave some useful stuff for the next people.  There is sometimes a guestbook too.
We brought with us lots of snacks and beers, so the boys built the fire and we sat around gossiping until bed time.  The bothy was just big enough for 4 of us to lie side by side wrapped up in our sleeping bags.  We tried to keep the fire going and with our million layers of clothes it wasn't too cold.  (and er no, there are no bathroom facilities, so one has to go behind a tree!)

We had our breakfast outside! It's good to go camping with boys who have useful gadgets like jet boilers etc.  We had hot chocs, I had super noodles (always a camping breakfast tradition) and the others had bacon sarnies cooked on the fire.

 Marky being all manly chopping wood.

I'm afraid I'm going to be annoying and not tell you where our perfect little bothy is located! This one is not on any websites I have found so is a little secret.  It is kept clean with useful stuff in it because it is not on any major routes and not many people know about it.  I will say that it is in the Lake District somewhere, go explore!!!

 Do you think the self timer has worked yet?????

There was a very sad tragedy of the camping trip and I am devastated to report the injury of a dear friend green Spork, sob!

It was lovely to wake up and see our surroundings! We arrived in the dark so could only really guess as to what the place looked like.  It didn't disappoint, super pretty scenery.

Bye bye bothy, hopefully we shall meet again soon. (perhaps in Summer this time!).  A good place to look for bothies if you fancy trying it is this website... http://www.mountainbothies.org.uk/

You can check out our other camping and outdoor adventures right here... LINK

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