Monday, September 30, 2013

Summer in Autumn, getting the right tools for the job and confessions of a yarnaholic

I seem to be forever starting new projects at the moment. So much for my resolution at the beginning of the year to only start something new when something got finished ....perhaps I'll have better luck sticking to that philosophy next year ;)

The latest new start on the hook is a throw.  I've been promising my soon to be sister-in-law I'd make her something for a while.  So I recently sent her a bunch of pattern choices and asked her favorite colours.  What she doesn't know is this will become her Christmas present (all being well).

Blues and Greys are the colour palette I'm working with, yummy.  I picked up these relatively inexpensive giant balls of Hayfield Aran at Hobbycraft (they have 3 for 2 on all their yarn too).
The pattern I'm using is called Summer Mist you can find it on Ravelry here.  I was a little worried as so far I've made crochet in blocks and joined to make larger projects but this starts with one long chain.

I started with a plastic hook that I had at home (I think it might have been one of Mum's) and I started to get in a panic as it really wasn't going well.  I was just beginning to think I might have to go off and ask Sam to choose another pattern when I had the idea of trying another hook.

I had to go to 3 local stores (well when I say local they are all over North Wiltshire, but luckily places I regularly travel to for work) before I found somewhere that sold something other than plastic but finally came home with this beautiful wooden hook, double ended too.
Since the new hook came home with me I've been going great guns.  What a dream it is to work with, and what a difference having the right tools for the job makes.
I worked out that I need to hook up approximately 7 rows per week to have this finished in time for Christmas.  All the drama with the hook has put me 14 rows behind, lol.  But now I'm off and running these rows are coming together really quickly so shhhhhh I'm not going to say this too loudly but I'm hoping I'll get done way ahead of time.

Before I sign off I also have some yarny confessions to make...........while shopping for the hook I didn't have any cash on me, as the store is a small one I had to make a minimum spend to be able to use my debit card.  So these fabulous sock yarns reduced down in price by £5 a ball also came home with me ;)  (hmmmm you're meant to be reducing your stash not increasing it Angela!!!)
Also while hunting in the local charity shops at the weekend I came across these.

I have no idea what brand they are the band just says 'Spring Knitting Assortment' but they are a lovely colour and good quality cotton yarn so at 50p they just had to come and live with me. I have plans for them mwahhaha (that's supposed to be my evil laugh ... not sure I pulled it off though) ;)

Have you bought any scrumptious craft supplies recently?

Sunday, September 29, 2013

My week in snapshots

I've been full of cold this week, which has made me feel a bit grumpy and tired, but I've muddled through and am glad it's Sunday. I always give myself permission to be a bit lazy on a Sunday so today you're most likely to find me dozing on the sofa.  But before that here is my week in pictures.........

Lazy Sunday.  Me knitting, James' feet on my lap.  Can't think of anything I love more.
Cheeky Tuesday night Chinese with a good friend
Drafting up some letter templates for a commission I'm working on
'Firework orange' Yes that really is going on the walls in my bathroom
Shopping at my new favourite food place.  The quality of the meat from their butchers counter is outstanding
I need to work on building my energy levels up after this dratted cold and I need to do it fast, for this week I want to finish my bathroom decorating.  And I have lots of social events dinner out x 2, birthday celebrations and a wedding.  Phew I'm exhausted just thinking about it.

Hope you all have an amazing week.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Time for the blues

I haven't had a huge amount of luck on the thrifting front in the last few weeks. I'm mainly on the lookout for frames to fit some of my recent embroideries, but I also need a couple of bits for around the flat. I did last week however come across a couple of really cute little finds.

I'm sure you might have picked up from various posts here that I love having candles burning in my home.  I have a whole array of tea light holders in my living room and bedroom, but there is always room for one more.
It was love at first sight when I saw this beautiful little pottery tea light holder, and in the perfect shade of blue to match my bedroom walls (when I redecorate the room I'm keeping the same wall colour).  For the grand sum of £1 it just had to come home with me.
I've added it to my little corner of blue on one of the window ledges.  Here it sits with a thrifted beaded frame that I picked up at the end of last year, my oil burner, a lovely thrifted blue and white delft money box and a couple of beautiful glass dishes handmade from recycled bottles by my friend's Mum - a gift for some house sitting I did while they were away.  I'm no interior designer but I think this little collection of trinkets look lovely together and make me smile every time I wander in to my bedroom.

Monday, September 23, 2013


Last week I managed to finish the owl mobile that I've been making for my friend who is expecting her first baby at the end of the year. I'm happy to report that she was thrilled with it.

I took about a million photos but instead of posting a whole bunch I've used a whizzy photo app on my phone to put together this little montage.
I can't tell you how much fun this was to make. I covered an embroidery hoop in a few rows of rainbow crochet to make the frame. It was a little fiddly putting it all together but I'm so pleased with how it turned out. It got lots of positive comments when I took it in to work for Amy so that was nice.

Another friend has asked me to make a few individual owl hangers for her family for Christmas.  I've used a few different colours in this bunch.
Bodies are all done as you can see, now for some eyes and ribbons.  I'm also going to be attempting to add some initials on the backs of these which will be an interesting experiment.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

My week in snapshots

It's been an altogether quieter week at Angelcat Manor which has been really nice. I'm enjoying getting cosy in the evenings now that the nights are starting to draw in a bit. Had a tough week at work with some really heart wrenching cases to deal with so I've been glad of the evenings spent in quiet contemplation, with craft projects in hand and some interesting documentaries on TV providing some distraction every now and then too. (oh and in the interests of full disclosure I'm going to admit that I totally had a girl perv moment and rented Magic Mike on DVD too, lol).

Raindrops on the window against the night sky
Some new owls on the hook in a more muted colour palette
Lovely blue skies to end the week
Enjoying the view from my sofa.  I love that from my window you can see a window, not sure why that should make me happy but it does
Colourful wax pile in progress, looking forward to seeing how this develops over the winter.
Friday night treat.  After a particularly tough day at work, my lovely man treated me to a surprise bar of chocolate and my choice of dinner.  I don't often crave fish and chips but oh my these went down well.
This coming week I have dinner out with a girlfriend and lots of hooking planned.  Hope you all have a good one. xx

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Decorating chaos

I know I keep saying it lately but wow time really does fly. I can't believe it's been 7 months since I bought my flat and moved in. I can't say its been an easy 7 months though it has been a lot of fun. Financially I'm really stretched and it's taking me ages to make my home the place I really want it to be. But I don't mind living on a budget it's actually fun if you make it so. And I'm not deprived in anyway. I still do nice things and go nice places I just have to accept that I can't do it as often as I'd like and to do one nice things means sacrificing something else ....... if only I'd taught myself this lesson many moons ago I'd be in a much better position financially right now, sigh.

Get back on topic Angela, you've wandered off on a tangent.  The point of this post is to chat a bit about the transformation of my living.  Yes it's taken a while but I love being in this space in my home.

Here it is on the day i picked up my keys.  Whilst it was decorated neatly and by no means offensively it wasn't really what I wanted.
So with a little help from my brother, his fiancee Sam and my wonderful James the transformation began.
It pretty much looks like this now .... except the bookcase is full of books ;)
Apart from the TV all the furniture is thrifted or second hand.  Somehow this picture doesn't make it look as cosy as it really is (maybe that's the absence of books?)  But I love hanging out in this space, good film on TV some sort of craft project in hand. 

I'm looking forward to working on my bedroom next, I have lots of plans just need to start saving the money to get it all done :)

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Nerdy Stitching

I'm a huge fan of all things nerdy. I'm not sure if I've confessed this here on my blog before so this could be my coming out ;)

I love sci-fi, fantasy, horror, steampunk and all of those cross over genres in between.  And since meeting James my geek has really come out to play and we spend lots of time at the weekends on the sofa eating too much junk food and watching re-runs of all kinds of wonderful sci-fi on TV :)

So after that confession it may surprise you to learn that until very recently I'd never really watched Dr Who.  But oh my am I a huge fan now.  Is it a step too far to admit that I felt sick when Matt Smith announced his leaving?  No Matt, don't go I beg of you, you are my Doctor ;)

Anyhow I thought it was high time my craft world and sci-fi world collided and I purchased a couple of super cool stitch patterns from the Wee Little Stitches shop on Etsy

And so the Doctors begin.

This is so much fun.  I'm in a bit of a quandary though wondering whether to leave a space in the line before the tardis so I can add a Peter Capaldi at the end of the year?  Any other Whovians out there?  What do you think?

Monday, September 16, 2013

Family Fun

Recently I've been missing my family a lot.  While we were growing up we had a really close relationship with Grandparents, Aunts, Uncles and cousins, but as we've grown up and moved round the country and the world we don't get to see each other very often.

Even my family who only live a few hours away I don't get to see much.  I was happy to be able to catch up with my brother in Oxford a few weekends ago but its high time I made some arrangements to go and see my Dad and Gran I think.

For now I'm revisiting happy memories from earlier in the year.  Lots of family fun when James' parents came down to visit us.
David became quite the pro on the Wii :-)
My Dad came up for an evening during that visit too and we went out for a lovely meal.
Yes, I'm really craving some family time a visit is definitely in order.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

My week in snapshots

There has been a definite chill in the air this week, Autumn is coming. I'm looking forward to crisp cooler air and darker nights, getting cosy under piles of blankets on the sofa.

It's been another full on busy week here, not as much crafting time as I would have liked but plenty of other fun so another good week all round.

My favourite view from the sofa on Sunday. James in the kitchen making me a roast dinner
A night at the movies
A new cross stitch project started
Taking the chill off under the starburst blanket one evening
Beautiful flowers ..... a belated birthday gift from my Gran
A giggle fuelled night out with two of my lovely friends
This coming week should be a lot quieter on the social front which is good news for crafting, I have a stack of projects piling up, both things on my to do list and things that people have asked me to make for them so I need to get cracking.

Hope you all have a great week x

Thursday, September 12, 2013


I think I mentioned a few posts ago that Sunday has turned in to my 'cross stitch' day. Well in a change from usual programming last Saturday saw me putting in the last few stitches in the Wildflower piece.
James had to work so with the alarm going off way too early for the weekend and me unable to get back to sleep I decided to drag my sorry butt out of bed and get on with the weekend chores.  Yes you read that right this is me getting on with weekend chores, lol.  No really it is, I was waiting for the load in the washing machine to finish :)
So there it is all done.  It needs a bit of an iron, but I'll wait until I source a frame to get it looking all pristine.
This piece really was a joy to stitch.  Nice bold blocks of colour and pretty lettering are definitely among my favourite things.  I'm looking forward to hanging this on the gallery wall I'm planning in my bedroom.

The next cross stitch I'm working on is of an altogether more geeky nature but I'll tell you about that sometime soon I'm sure.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Attempting a mobile

You might recognise the pictures above and below from recent 'week in snapshots' posts. 
I've been working toward making this rainbow of baby owls. I'm going to attempt to turn them in to a baby mobile for a friend of mine who is expecting at the end of the year.
So far they look pretty cute, but hatching them all was the easy part, now I've got to figure out how to execute the next part of my plan and I'm slightly anxious that I may not be able to pull it off.
Wish me luck.
It's been great fun hooking these up and they are wonderful for using up left over yarn.  I've been really enjoying working with some Tissa yarn left over from my Starburst Blanket project earlier this year.  I'd forgotten what a dream that is to work with, I'm in danger of becoming a yarn snob (which is not good for the purse when living on a budget!). 

Pattern for the owls can be found for free on Ravelry here.  I've been wasting far too much time on Ravelry recently, but it is so much fun looking through the piles of awesome patterns out there.  The only problem is my queue of projects keeps growing and I have to spend far too much time at work and not enough time with hook and needles in hand :)

Sunday, September 08, 2013

My week in snapshots

Have you all had a good week?

Mine was a little but up and down, for some reason I was feeling a bit low for a couple of days. Nothing I can really put my finger on but no matter,  days spent feeling a bit sad make you appreciate the things that do bring a smile when they come your way. And I still had plenty of those during the week too.

A shopping trip to the local farmers market saw me coming home with a delicious blackberry crumble tart to go with my tea and a loaf of scrummy cheese and chilli bread.
The view behind my table at the car boot last Sunday.  The sun was shining so it was a pleasure to spend a couple of hours sat in a field selling on some of my excess belongings.
Enjoying the colours of an amazing sunset.
Soaking up the last sunlight of the day.
A beautiful evening out with my man, enjoying a taste of Peru
Playing with ribbons
This coming week should be fun.  I have Friday off work to look forward to and not one but two nights out with the girls, including some hen night fun next Saturday .... lets hope I'm in a fit state to blog next Sunday ;)

Hope you all have an amazing week x

Sunday, September 01, 2013

My week in snapshots

Wow, another week gone by already time really is marching on. Autumn is on its way and Christmas will be here before we know it, lol.

 I've had another really lovely week, even work has felt manageable ....maybe I've turned a corner with that at last or maybe having put in a job application with another company I've realised that with a bit of hard work and effort I really don't have to be stuck in an unhappy workplace forever. My future is in my own hands.

Curious squirrel. (This chap was very bold when we were picnicking in the park.  There was a group of about 15 of us but that didn't phase him he dashed straight up and ran away with an apple core)
Evening light at the local country park
Making eyes ..... baby owls just keep on hatching at my place at the moment :)
Simple, healthy, tasty suppers from my vintage china bowls
Waiting ...... my car had to go in for MOT this week.  Passed after adding a new bulb, phew!
And a fabulous family day in Oxford, with my little brother, his fiancee and one of their children
As for the coming week .... today I'm off to do some carbooting to try and get rid of some of the things that have become unnecessary clutter in my flat and James and I are going out to dinner in the week.  I also have a growing list of knit and crochet projects that people have asked for so a trip to the yarn store and a few evenings in front of the TV to get cracking on those will be in order too.

Hope you have all had an amazing week and have managed to squeeze in some fun every day x