Thursday, February 28, 2013

Stitchy reads

This week seems to be passing by in a blur. Work is so busy I don't really have any energy or enthusiasm for much when I get home, which is a shame when there is so much unpacking and decorating still to do!! 

Mostly I've been reading.  I go through phases with my reading, one minute I'm a total book worm and then all of a sudden it can be months between reads.  I'll read just about anything but my preference is for Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Horror and Historical.  Every now and then though I pick something off the shelf 'just because'.

The book below was one of those choices.  I picked it up in a local charity shop for the bargain price of 30p.  With the tag line 'when life unravels ..... start stitching' I couldn't resist.
I'm not quite finished the book yet, but it's quite an entertaining read.  Nothing too deep or taxing on the brain, but something that's good enough to pick up and distract you for a while when you're too tired to do much else.  But it has got me thinking ..... Do any of you out there know of any other reads that have stitch or craft woven in to the storyline?  I'd love to read some more.
As well as reading I've been enjoying these lovely flowers and lots of cards from my wonderful family and friends wishing me well in my new home.  Totally feeling the love.  I'm grateful everyday to have so many thoughtful and caring people in my life.  It's not hard to make sure that you show people you care about that they are valued and appreciated and not taken for granted.  We should all really do more of it  :)

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Weekend Snapshot

Phew, I'm pretty exhausted it's been a full on weekend. I'm still full of cold and feeling very tired, but also very, very content. Life is made for weekends like this......
Big smiles, and goofy photos
Time with my fabulous family
Cocktails and candles
Visits to tall buildings
And a little bit of stitching.

I'll be back soon to share some more pictures and detail, but for now this is my weekend in snapshots.  Whatever you've been up to I hope you've had a good one xx

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Slow and steady wins the race....

... at least that's what I keep telling myself. Most things have ground to a halt round here at the moment as I have picked up a really nasty cold virus. Aching head, running nose, scratchy throat the works. I think it happens sometimes when you've been on the go for a while and you suddenly take time to breath deep, its at that moment that all the nasty germs attack, lol.

So not much of anything is really going on round here. There are still boxes being unpacked and furniture being put together.

 My gorgeous geek guy has been helping me with the furniture, though when I say he doesn't have the patience of a saint when it comes to flat pack furniture and the air was blue that is an understatement!!  I must tell you more about him one day soon, I'm totally besotted.

I've probably mentioned before that I've decided to try and kit out my place with a combination of second hand and hand made with the exception of a few bits here and there.  I've only bought one piece of flat pack and that was the TV cabinet, and even that I bought from the British Heart Foundation shop so even though it's new it's made from stripped back pine recycled from other unwanted furniture.

In other news, slow and steady is also the motto for the baby blanket.  I have two thirds of it joined and so it looks like this right now.
Sorry just noticed I didn't do a great job of laying it out for the photo, lots of curly edges ... I'm going to blame my germ addled head for that one.  Anyhow I'm really please with how this is coming along and am aiming to get it done by the end of the month.  Though with a busy weekend ahead that might be a bit ambitious.  I'm off to London for the day on Saturday and my baby brother is coming over on Sunday to see my new place and help me put up some shelves .... what a darling he is :)

Monday, February 18, 2013

Small pleasures

Thank you all for the lovely comments of support on my last post they really meant a lot.  Did you all have a nice weekend? For the most part mine looked like this..
... a whole jumble of boxes and bags waiting to be sorted and unpacked.

The room underneath all this mess is my bedroom!! At one stage you could barely get in the room but as the weekend went on I managed to clear a path through it all and there is now some room to move.

It's been a pretty stressful weekend and there are still boxes everywhere and a million and one jobs to do, and my thoughts on how to use the space I have keep changing by the minute but things are feeling a lot more manageable now.

Amidst the chaos I managed to carve out a few moments of calm.  A few small pleasures here and there are what got me through. Like this ... the very first cup of tea at my new home
What's not to enjoy about a nice cuppa and a danish? Do you like my lovely retro floral plate? I found them at a charity shop a couple of weeks ago and fell in love. They only had four but at 25p each they were a bargain that I couldn't pass up, as soon as I saw them I knew they'd be the perfect thing for those cup of tea and a slice of cake moments.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Moving in

Guess what? I finally got the keys to my new place yesterday, after almost 5 months of waiting, yippee. I can't tell you how excited I am.
This means that the hard work begins now, decorating, unpacking and getting my new home exactly how I want it. 

I'm immensely proud of myself for achieving all this on my own, it's not easy to convince the bank managers these days to give you a mortgage! But now that it's here I've been feeling a little overwhelmed by it all these last couple of days.

I think it's yet to really sink in that I have a place I can decorate and live in exactly how I want.  I think the overwhelming things is that although I'm 37 this year this will be the first time I've owned something that is entirely mine.  I don't have anyone else's opinions or tastes to take in to consideration and I'm not entirely sure I know what my own style is. Does that make any sense? I guess I'm still figuring out who I am in a way, which is a great adventure all in itself. 

Even though it's only a small apartment I think it will take me a while to get things straight, I don't have a huge amount of furniture and I don't have lots of money to buy things either so I think it'll be a few months before I can even afford to get all the basics.  But I'll get there and I'm sure I'm going to have plenty of fun over the coming months making my home, it may not turn out to be the most stylish or glamorous of places, but it will be all me.

Whatever you are up to, hope you have a happy and fun filled weekend. X

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

And so to the joining ......

I hope you're not getting too bored with these updates on my blanket progress. While all my things are still in storage I don't have a variety of different things on the go which is my usual habit.

The good news is I get the keys to my new place on Friday so hopefully it won't be long before I'm settled in and can start decorating, unpacking and making the place my own. I'm sure there will be a picture or two of that on here once I'm in the swing.

But for now it's just more blanket progress I'm afraid. All my little squares have been hooked. 96 squares in all in 6 different colour combinations, you can see them all in the picture below. After all my moaning about it in the last crafty post I've actually managed to get all the ends sewn in without too much boredom too.

Next comes the joining.
The little squares are joined together to make bigger squares, then those are joined together in to even bigger squares and before you know it, voila the blanket is done ..... or at least that's how I hope it goes :) I'm thinking my next few weekends will be busy what with the moving .... and I have a day trip to London coming up too so I'll have to remind myself to get busy with this in the evenings instead, which might make a nice change from just coming home from work and flopping on the sofa!!

Sunday, February 10, 2013

You ever get seduced?

I'm not really big on shopping, I'm not one of those girls whose week isn't complete unless they've been out and indulged in some retail therapy. But every now and then you might find me having a wander round my local high street just for the sake of getting out of the house and whiling away a few hours.

This weekend was one such occasion, I wanted to go for a wander and ended up in town, didn't particular need or want anything was just passing time, doing a bit of window shopping until ........ I got seduced.

Does this ever happen to you?  You're on your merry way, minding your own business when something jumps in to your path and shouts 'I'm coming home with you?' 

On this occasion it was a pretty pink peacock who led me astray and forced me to part with a few of my hard earned pennies.  Who can resist a pink peacock? Not me that's for sure.
And this little pink temptress has another secret to reveal.  Turkish delight, naughty but nice, much like my good self ;)
Has anything seduced you this weekend?

Friday, February 08, 2013

Snuggly Square progress

I'm making reasonable progress on the baby blanket.  I have 96 squares to make, they are only 2.5 inches so they don't take too long to come together.  I've made more since this picture was taken so am about half way through I think.  Looking at the pile in this picture its pretty clear that there are going to be millions of ends to sew in ....... but hey it's all part of the fun :)

It occurred to me while writing this that no matter what the craft there is generally something that has to be done to get a project finished that I find less appealing than the rest, with crochet it's sewing in the ends, with cross stitch I get a bit bored if there is back stitching to do at the end, with knitting it's the sewing up at the end, and with quilting it's the ironing of all the seams.  But they are all things that I have to be endured in order to get the job done.

Are there any parts of your craft/handmade hobby/creative pursuit that you don't enjoy?  Please tell me I'm not alone .....

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Exploring my new hood - part two

A couple of weeks ago I showed you a little bit of what I'd found on a wander in my new neighbourhood. Well I took lots of photos that day, too many for one post so I figured I'd come back with some more. This time I thought I'd show you some of the shopping and entertainment delights in my new neighbourhood :)

You can tell these pictures are from a couple of weeks ago as there is snow on the ground, all that has disappeared now.  This is the main shopping street right round the corner from the building I will be living in.

There are a few lovely gift shops and some independant stores which is really nice, makes a change from the usual high street theses days.  There are no end of choices for places to eat out so I'm sure I'll have plenty of fun deciding which are my favourites.
There are some great vintage and second hand stores not too far away, I have become slightly obsessed with picking up second hand bargains.  I'm sure I'll tell you more about that another time, as with the exception of a few of the larger pieces of furniture I need I'm going to try and kit my new place out with second hand/recycled/upcycled/given a new loving home furniture and bits and bobs.
As a music lover I'm really excited that this great little venue is literally 5 minutes walk from my front door.  There will be no excuses not to get out and see plenty of local bands.  What better way to spend an evening than with a pint of beer and some live music :)
Perhaps most dangerously of all I have found the cutest little cake shop two minutes walk from my front door.
It would have been rude not to try some of the wares on offer, don't you think?  So these two cupcakes came home with me.
I was kind of hoping for the sake of the new years healthy eating plan that they would be awful, but of course they were delicious, especially the banoffe one on the left, scrummy!!

Before I go I thought I'd give you a quick flash of where I will be living.  Sadly not the big lovely building that is the main of the photo below but the smaller one to the right with the satellite dishes on is where my new apartment is.
I had a phone call from the solicitors this morning, we should be exchanging contracts this week, and I should get the keys next week sometime, so fingers crossed I will be finally moving in in the not too distant future.

Monday, February 04, 2013

YOTA Catch up

Last month I found out about a little UFO stitch along group hosted over at Pull the Other Thread's blog.

What a great idea I thought as I have plenty of stitching UFOs that I want to work on and I thought this would be the perfect thing to keep me focused.

Well all I can say is that January was an epic fail for me.  With my house move stretching out longer than bargained for and getting distracted by a new crochet project the cross stitch that I was planning on working on for this one barely made it out of its bag.

So with the hopes that 'going public' will help me keep this project in mind a bit more I thought I'd just post a picture of how the cross stitch looks right now.
Sorry its a bit dark as I took it yesterday evening when daylight had already disappeared.  I have finished all of the Algerian eye stitching in the side borders which is just about the only thing that's moved on since I last posted about this one here.

Still only the top border and one teacup to stitch, lets hope that by the time YOTA confessions come around next month it'll have been crossed off the UFO list and added to the projects finished in 2013 list :)

Saturday, February 02, 2013

What a fabulous party

Wasn't the Grow your blog party heaps of fun?  Thanks so much to Vicki at 2 bags full for hosting such a great event.  I've had such a great time getting to know new blogs and speaking to new people all over the world.  I want to say a big thank you to everyone (old and new visitors) who comes by and takes time to visit my little corner of blogland.  Before the party I had 35 followers and I now have 60, wow it's a little overwhelming really.  

I still haven't quite decided what the prize is for my drawer but I will figure it out soon, and I have drawn a winner.  I used random number generator and that picked number 36 which is Hueisei of Love it Sew it 

Even though the party is over I'm still feeling in a party mood, and I found the perfect way to ward of the post party blues when I visited Jessica's blog

I'm joining in this pay it forward

Here are the details:
The first 5 people to comment and leave their email and blog address will receive from me, sometime in 2013, a small gift handmade by me....a surprise in the mail! In this age of digital everything, who doesn't love actual fun mail?

There will be no warning, but once I know that the recipient has indeed received the surprise, I will blog about the gift I sent and count down the five surprises with all my blog readers!

The Catch:
Those 5 people must make the same offer on their blog!
If you're interested in participating, making some new friends in blog land, and sharing your creative talents, then please leave me a comment.  I will be contacting the first 5 people who comment to get your mailing address so I will be ready to send your surprise in the coming months!
I look forward to hearing from you!
Happy Creating!