Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Enjoy the little things

Things are getting back to normal round here, I still have a sore throat hanging around but slowly I'm getting reacquainted with my mojo. I'm finding my way back in to the routine of work, starting to get organised and make plans for the coming months. Starting to feel cautiously optimistic. Trying not to run before I can walk though, taking one day at a time.

I was gifted the wonderful mug in this picture via my work's secret Santa. I love it. For one it's enamel so reminds me of camping trips when I was a kid, and two it's an ever present reminder of something I've been trying to do for a while but not always with success.
Tea. Knitting. Reading. Simple things. Happy.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

What I'm working on

I'm still struggling to shake off the last of the illness that's had me knocked out since the middle of December. It's definitely a case of one step forward two steps back. One day I feel like the light is at the end of the tunnel the next I wake up feeling lacklustre and full of germs again. I'm looking forward to the day I wake up feeling well again and can get this year started.

In the meantime there's not much I can do but continue to get from one end of the day to the other and potter and create in the small windows each day when I have the energy for it.

As I haven't blogged regularly in an age I thought I'd catch you up with the things I'm actively working on right now.  Knitting and crochet seem to have taken over my crafting time for the last 6 months or so, largely due to the fact that most of my other crafting things are packed away in storage.  My poor old sewing machine hasn't seen the light of day for almost 2 years if you can believe it....I'm looking forward to a time when I have some room to have it set up again but until then......

I'm crocheting a large blanket which was started as part of Lucy's Cosy CAL over at Attic 24.  Thanks to this bug that I picked up I've fallen so far behind most others have finished. I decided to go with my own limited colour palette rather than following Lucy's colour scheme and I've made my blanket wider, it should hopefully cover a double bed more or less.  Take a look at my project page on Ravelry if you're interested in details about colours I'm using
We welcomed a new member of the family in to the world yesterday as my sister gave birth to a bouncing baby boy.  I'm working on a knitted garland to gift her for the baby just a couple more letters to knit up.
Finally I have this Celtic knot scarf bubbling away in the background.  I started this back in June last year when I picked up 4 balls of Aran in a sale at the bargain price of £1 each.  I was originally hoping to to finish this and gift it to someone for Christmas but that didn't pan out again due to feeling ill but I'm three quarters of the way through so I'll keep plugging away until it's done.
I have a million and one other projects tucked away in cupboards in various stages of completion but I need to get focused and finish a few things.   I've also got a tonne of new starts that I want to embark on but I'm trying to exercise some will power and not start anything until I have something finished.  My lovely man gifted me this gorgeous book for Christmas and the next thing to be started will be from here.....the thought of hooking up one of these lovelies is spurring me on to get something finished.

Monday, January 05, 2015

Hello 2015

It's been almost a year since I regularly posted here.....not sure how so much time disappeared since my last proper post.

2014 was a bit of a strange year.  I feel like I spent most of it in limbo.  I put my flat up for sale and quickly got an offer but after many months the buyer pulled out at the last minute.  Meanwhile I'd moved out and in with James and most of my belongings went in to storage.   We've lived in a kind limbo for almost 6 months not being able to do much of anything as we needed the funds from my flat sale to help us move on.

The flat finally sold at the beginning of December, but not after that I fell ill with a nasty flu bug, which turned in turn brought with it a cold, a persistent cough and most recently a bout of tonsillitis.....I pretty much missed all of the Christmas and end of year celebrations and have spent a good portion of the last 4 weeks in bed or collapsed on the sofa with no energy or enthusiasm for anything.

Hopefully I'm coming out of the other side now, I would go as far as to say I am almost feeling human again.

If I can just shake off the remaining few germs there is no question that I will feel a good amount of giddy excitement thinking about the things that this year could have in store. It's likely we will be on the move again to a bigger house that can accommodate all of our things (most of mine are still in storage) location to be confirmed.  We have several lovely trips and weekend getaways planned.  And of course as always I have a million and one craft projects on the go.

I'm not setting any goals or resolutions this year, I'm just going to see what happens and where things take me.  And of course I'll try and visit here more often that I managed last year. 

I have no idea if anyone is still out there reading this but if there is anyone there well....... happy new year, brightest blessings and warmest wishes to you.  I hope 2015 brings you many joys. XX

Sunday, January 04, 2015

Goodbye 2014

Am thinking about coming back to this space.  I miss it.  We'll see.

For now goodbye 2014.  Looking forward to seeing what 2015 brings

Things I made in 2014

Albie's Sea creature Mobile
Albie's Cobblestone vest
Micky's Windchief
Los muertos hat

Kitty Mobile

Giraffe Blanket

Kathleen Hat

Booties for Mav

Owl Hat for Mav

Hat in Bloom

After the Rain embroidery

Knitted Penguin Jumper x 2

Embroidered coasters x 2

Knitted face cloths x 9
Ochre hat

Books I read in 2014

Equal Rites by Terry Pratchett
Smoke and Mirrors by Neil Gaiman
A slip of the keyboard by Terri Pratchett

The Children of Dune by Frank Herbert

The Glamour Chase by Gary Russell

Dr Who 50th Anniversary collection

The King's Dragon by Una McCormack

A monster calls by Patrick Ness

The Poison Tree by Erin Kelly

Dune by Frank Herbert

Waking the Dead by Steve Niles

American Gods by Neil Gaiman

My Week with Marilyn by Colin Clark

The Quantum Thief by Hannu Rajaniemi
The Clockwise Man by Justin Richards

Movies I watched at the cinema in 2014

The best of me
What we did on our holidays
What If
Into the Storm
Guardians of the Galaxy
The Purge: Anarchy
Planet of the Apes

Begin Again
A million ways to die in the west
The two faces of January

The Amazing Spiderman 2
The Other Woman
Captain America
Labor Day
300: Rise of an Empire
The Monuments Men
Dallas Buyers Club
The Wolf of Wall Street
That awkward moment
12 years a slave
American Hustle
The Railway Man
The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

Places I visited in 2014

Barton on Sea, Hampshire
Exeter, Devon
Stonehenge, Wiltshire
Topsham, Devon
Whitby, Yorkshire
Zakynthos, Greece

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Ready to cast on

After a bit if a creative hiatus I'm getting back in full swing (hopefully).

A couple of weeks ago I went through my yarn stash to see what I already had that I could use for my little hat challenge.  Found just the thing.

I'm all set and ready to go just need to find some free time to get cast on.  Happy days

Sunday, February 23, 2014


It's been a couple of weeks since I posted. 

As much as I missed being here somehow I didn't seem to have the energy to come pay a visit.  I guess I'd been hit with a touch of melancholia.  I've noticed the last few years that it happens to me quite often this time of year.  But heyho it seems to be passing now and this week I've started to get back to feeling like me again, and so I'm back......

....... back with some pictures from my week.

There has been lots of reading (and eating jelly snakes)
 There have been wanderings in my local area after dark, just me and my camera
 It has been a week of sunshine and showers (often all at the same time!)
 There has been working out ..... and more reading
 There has been lots of driving.  On the way home one evening this was the view in the mirror.  At that moment I wished I was driving in to the sunset rather than away from it.  Beautiful.
 And there has been the reawakening of my creative spirit (and this more than anything lets me know that I'm feeling better and all is right in my world again).
Thanks for sticking with me.  Hope you all have a great week xx

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Cute coos

I think I've mentioned here before that when we have time for a quiet weekend at home Sunday has become my cross stitch day. Well when I say day that is a little bit of an exaggeration, I really mean that I try and grab an hour or two if I can.

If you have been kind enough to have been checking in on me regularly you'll know that my main project at the moment is a Dr Who piece. For reasons that I hope to get round to posting about sometime soon that project is on hold for a while. So in the meantime I've picked up a little something else.
I purchased this little bookmark kit from a charity shop a little while back for the princely sum of £1.  (Sorry about making you twist your head but am having a funny 5 and can't get blogger to do what I want it to right now and get this up the right way!!).

I'm a bit of a terror in that just as I can never stick with one crafty project at a time nor can I seem to read just one book at a time. (Especially at the moment living half the week at mine and half at James' I have to have at least one book on the go at each house).  Anyway multiple books need multiple bookmarks so this will get well used when it's done.
There is still a way to go and stitching time seems to be sparse at the moment but hopefully it'll come together before too long,

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Fabric sale

Starting to have a really good spring clean. I have decided this year that I really want to pare back on the stuff I own. I just have too much. Clothes, books, craft stuff, everything really.

Now don't get me wrong I'm definitely never going to be a minimalist.  I love being surrounded by things.  Things make me feel cosy. But over the years and through various house moves I keep lugging round stuff that I just don't need any more. Books I know I'll never read again, clothes that don't fit properly or aren't to my taste, craft stuff that I don't have time to use anymore. Time to be ruthless, I need to simplify.

Starting with my fabric. Tucked away in my cupboard 5 totes of fabric. I wanted to try and half my collection, but wow was it tough to be ruthless.
In the end I have sorted out this little lot to try and rehome ..... boy there will be a lot of ebaying in my future!  Wish me luck (if any of my crafting friends are short of anything email me I might have it and be willing to strike up a deal or trade).

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Fireworks in the bathroom

A while a go I painted my bathroom 'firework orange' (or at least one of its walls). 

I know orange isn't every one's cup of tea and a bright orange bathroom wouldn't be to every one's taste.  Even the guy at B&Q who mixed the paint for me raised an eyebrow when I asked for it.  But hey it's my bathroom, my favourite colour, I don't have anyone else to answer to and I love how it looks.
While I was having a root around in my yarn box last week I came across a ball or two of lovely bamboo cotton that I picked up from the bargain bin at a craft store a couple of years ago.
It looks pink in the picture above but you'll see a better representation of the lovely orange colour in the next shot.

I've been seeing lots of lovely hand made wash cloths everywhere recently and in need of some simple knitting to do whilst feeling ill last week I figured I'd give it a go and make some for myself.
I ended up with a small pile of four in the end.   In various stripe designs, from this book (also used recently for the ochre hat), although in all honesty no matter needed.  I do like how they turned out and think they look super piled up next to my bowl of lovely soaps by the handwash basin.

It feels good to have produced something pretty and practical in what was otherwise a bit of a wash out of a week (excuse the pun!).

Sunday, January 26, 2014


It's been a bit of a miserable week here at the nest.  I've been suffering with a nasty bout of tonsillitis all week which has really knocked me out and had me feeling pretty low.  Then to top it off I had an allergic reaction to something on Friday which has left my face all red and blotchy. Nice!!

On a positive note as of yesterday I no longer feel as though I'm swallowing razor blades so hopefully I'm on the up again.  But as you can imagine I haven't been up to much this week so snapshots are a bit thin on the ground but still here they are......

Mostly you would have found me snuggled under my duvet on the sofa drinking various crushed ice concoctions and watching movies.
I also decided to drag out the yarn box and start thinking about options for my next hat from stuff I already have in my stash.
Rummaging through the yarn led to some simple knitting.  My brain couldn't cope with anything other than simple.
Hope you've all had better health than me.  Here's to a better week coming.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

New on the hook

I'm busy searching round trying to decide which hat I want to make next. There are so many out there that I would love to have a go at, and there are many new techniques that I want to explore, for instance in all the years I've been knitting I've never made anything in the round. I will force myself to make a decision soon, and as it's pay day this week I may even treat myself to some posh new yarn to give me some incentive.

In the meantime having lots of yarn left over from the ochre hat I decided to start hooking up a pair of matching wristlets.
The pattern is from an issue of Simply Crochet I think, I'll look it up when I get home and post the proper details next time.  But after a couple of hours hooky time I've got one glove made already.
It's a cute little design.  I didn't get the side ties exactly right, it was a dark evening and working with dark yarn was quite tricky, but my mistake doesn't really show so have decided to leave as is and call this one done.
Hopefully the other will be done soon.  I do a lot of driving for my day job and my hands are always cold on the steering wheel so I could really do with these to keep me warmer.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Fun with frames

You might remember seeing in my snapshots post a couple of weeks ago this picture of one corner of my living room looking like a bomb had hit it.
After repainting the little box frame for the Kiss Me stitchery I came across some other frames that I thought I'd repurpose.  I had these three pictures that I purchased many moons ago for the first house I owned. 
And while the prints are cute they don't really fit anywhere in my new place and I'd really gone off the wooden frames.  When I was decorating my lounge I'd bought a few tester pots of various grey paints to try out on the walls, and figured these frames would be the perfect way to use up the rest of the paint thereby clearing a bit more clutter from the tool/decorating cupboard.
I love how they turned out.  Two have already been refilled with new art and are ready to be hung on the wall when I get round to it.  And seeing this photo has made me wonder whether one of the other unframed cross stitches I have might fit in to the third......I'll have to have a play when I get home from work later :)

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Inspiration strikes

Back in this post I was sharing some of my adventures in thrifting and mentioned that I'd picked up these lovely box frames.
Wow was that really back last March? Time really does disappear in the blink of an eye!  They caught my eye because of the lovely unusual shapes.  The dried flower art in them was a tad dated and while I'm all for a bit of kitsch nostalgia the displays were a bit ragged and had seen better days.  I knew as soon as I saw them I could repurpose them at some point.

Taking another trip down memory lane back in this post I mentioned I'd started a quick cross stitch project.  Well it did get stitched up pretty quickly but I forgot to post again to show you.  So here is the finished little stitchery.
I have blue on my bedroom wall so I always intended this piece to be hung there.  The other day while I was having a good sort out I came across some left over paint that the previous owners of my flat had left in the back of the cupboard.  My bedroom walls are Laura Ashley duck egg blue no less.

Anyway inspiration struck and it turns out the frame and the stitchery were a perfect fit so in a jiffy I finally had that new piece of wall art ready to hang.
I know the frame looks white here and I will try and get a better photo at some point but it really is a lovely shade of pale blue. 

I'm working on framing up some more forgotten treasures that I've recently rediscovered in my spring clean and am hoping to make myself a bit of a gallery wall in my bedroom before too long so if I can pull that off this piece will end up there but it is already hanging in my bedroom on a random nail that was already in the wall.  Happy days.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Cozy things

I just realised that I have one last Christmas make that I haven't shared with you yet. Is it just me or does Christmas feel like it was an age ago already?  A couple of weeks back to work and it feels as though I never had that two weeks off!

Back here I mentioned that I'd started work on a gift for my Gran.  If you pop back to that post the second photo probably gives the most accurate depiction of the beautiful lilac colour of the yarn.  You'll have to excuse the photos here they were taken on a rather dull day.
I'm really pleased with how it turned out.  It ended up being the perfect fit for a standard sized bottle.  The Debbie bliss yarn is really expensive but it's so soft and luxurious, perfect for a snuggly hot water bottle cover. 
My Gran really loved it.  As I pick up a bulk pack of this yarn on Ebay I have some left so am thinking I might make one of these for myself too.  I'm also exploring the possibility of making a hat for my 2014 challenge too.
The cable pattern toook my a couple of attempts to figure out but it was really quite easy once I got my head around it.  And I found the perfect buttons to finish it off already in my stash which was really handy.
I'm wide awake at 6am as I'm typing this which is unheard of for me I'm a night owl these days but am having a few sleep issues at the moment.   I could really do with something snuggly like this right now to coax me back to bed.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

My week in snapshots

Wow I think I blinked and missed the week, where did it go?  In a blur of long work days and busy evenings at home I think.  I managed a trip to the movies too. My tip if you go and see The Railway Man take a hanky there will be tears.

I've been in the mood to have a really good sort out at home.  My flat is in chaos now with piles of things that need to be listed on Ebay and things that need donating. 

This week I've been tired but happy.  Haven't taken many photos but just enough to justify a quick snapshots post.

Cooking dinner at my place for my true love.
 Starting a new cross stitch project.
 Basking in moonlight
Hope you have enjoyed your week.  Brightest blessings for the week to come x

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Thrifty Finds

It's been a while since I've had the opportunity to get out and scour the local second hand shops for treasure.  With everywhere being so busy in the pre-Christmas madness I neither had the time or inclination.  And thanks to an unexpected bill for the last couple of weeks I've been scraping by on a few pounds a week.  But on Saturday I had an unexpected windfall arrive in the mail so I decided to treat myself to an hours shopping time.  Armed with a £10 note I went out for a wander to see what treasure I could unearth.
One of the advantages of living in the centre of town is that you don't have to carve out a whole morning of free time for a shopping trip.  I literally step out of my front door on to a High Street and have 4 charity shops within a five minute walk.(The picture above was taken this time last year, we haven't had any snow yet this winter, and shows a couple of the cute little shops that can be found on my doorstep)

Anyway I'm waffling a bit let's get to the nitty gritty.....what did I find?  First up this ball of yarn for £1.  I don't really need any more yarn but I love the colour (this would have been perfect for my ochre hat if only I'd not started and finished it!) and figured I might be able to use it as part of my hat challenge at some point.
Next in to my shopping bag went this 'as new' cookbook.  Hardback, and I have to admit to having a bit of a soft spot for our Jamie.  And at the bargain price of £1 I couldn't let this stay on the shelf.
I also managed to pick up a couple of other items for the kitchen.  A lovely cheesecake dish, cheesecake is my all time favourite.  The dish looks to be in a similar style to the soup bowls I collected a while ago that reminded me of my childhood.  And a small wooden pestle and mortar which was just too cute to leave on the shelf. £3.50 spent
Next up a gorgeous decorative plate.  A woodland theme.  Hand painted in Portugal it says on the back, perhaps it was a holiday souvenir that someone grew tired off.  Lucky for me
It's now found a home pride of place on my little dresser. £2 paid
And last but no means least an original art work.  I swear my heart positively skipped a beat when I saw this on the shelf.
Seriously how pretty is this little snow scene?  I almost passed out when I saw it had a price tag of only £1.50.  To think of all of the hours that must have gone in to the painting of this.  It hasn't been hung yet but I think it'll likely find a home in my hallway or bedroom haven't quite made up my mind.

All this and I came home with £1 in my pocket.  Now that's what I call a happy hour at the shops :)

Monday, January 13, 2014

2014 the year of the hat

Anyone read the lovely Liesl Made blog? Liesl has recently been doing a self challenge to make 12 hats. Anyone who visits here regularly will know that I am a big fan of the hat. I haven't set myself any real crafty goals for this year but I thought giving myslef a hat challenge would be just the thing.

So I am officially declaring 2014 the year of the hat.  I think 12 hats might be a bit ambitious so I've decided to give myself a target of 6. One every couple of months I think should be doable and if I manage more then all the better.

I'm happy to say that my challenge is already off to a flyer.  Two weeks in to the new year and I've already finished my first hat woohoo.
I picked out some yarn from my stash.  I purchased this way back in summer 2012 on my first trip to Yorkshire with plans to make something else that never quite came to fruition so I figured it was time for it to get used.
I picked a nice simple pattern from this lovely book.  A recent thrifty find at the bargain price of £2.  It never ceases to amaze me all of the good quality things that people give away.
A couple of lovely relaxing knitting and reading sessions over the Christmas break later and .......
....... voila one brand spanking new hat. And my first crafty finish of the new year.

Now don't get me wrong I like how it turned out and love the effect of the simple panels of alternating stocking stitch but I don't love it.  In the book the pattern is called 'ochre hat' and is made with a lovely ochre shade of yarn.  I just can't get over how lovely the one in the book looks and how for me, mine doesn't quite live up to that.  And it's nothing to do with the dreamy yarn I used I loved every minute of working with it.

I'm sure the hat will grow on me.  I'm not giving up on it and have worn it out a couple of times already so despite not falling for it yet it won't get shoved to the back of the cupboard forgotten and unloved.  After all I've never met a hat I didn't like .........

Sunday, January 12, 2014

My week in snapshots

It's been a bit of a tough week at the Crow's nest this week, trying to get back in to the routine of work after almost two weeks off has been a struggle. I had to work a few hours Saturday morning too which made it a really long one. I've been pretty tired and grumpy and had a migraine and sore throat at various points in the week which hasn't helped improve my mood. All in all I'm glad this one is over and am hoping for better things next week.

Still I surprised myself by finding the motivation to take some snapshots and there were some glimmers of fun pepper potted amongst all the negative stuff I've just moaned about.  So this week if you had been spying on me you would have seen me......

Drinking delicious homemade smoothies from a wine glass ..... just because I can
Starting a new hooky project
The view from the nest got a little misted over at times this week
Making a mess
Baking,  Anyone for a slice of cake?
At least the week ended with cake :)  Hope you all had a better week than I did.  Here's hoping the coming week is much much better.  x