Thursday, 13 November 2014

#DecADay Decorations One to Eleven

I knew I shouldn't have promised a weekly update because here I am day 13 with only 11 to show you!

Oh well I will catch up tonight, promise.

They still need blocking and some need buttons and ribbons attaching but the crochet side is done.  One they are all complete I will do a post with what patterns and yarns I used.

Do what do you think so far?


If you know any great patterns let me know!


Friday, 7 November 2014

Love Is...... Green Jelly

Today is mine and OH's 8th anniversary. We're not married so we celebrate our first date as we were practically inseparable after that.  

Green jelly is OH's favourite so I make it for our anniversaries and his birthday's . It started off as a joke one year but its stuck.

So tonight OH is having green jelly. 

Its the simple things that mean the most.


Saturday, 1 November 2014

November Crochet Challenge 2014

Last year I set myself a challenge to crochet advent bags for my daughter. I just about finished in time and they were a big hit. I wanted something a bit different that could be used year after year. We strung them up on our shelves and they looked really good. I bought a wooden village & spilt it between the bags so by Christmas Day she had a whole village.





This year I have two girls to keep happy. I have bought BG beads and by Christmas she will have a necklace. For Little Miss I have an alphabet puzzle to split between the bags. My plan is to put them on a little Christmas tree is the kitchen and as they take one off they will replace with a decoration which will also be in the bag. Can you guess what my challenge is yet?

That's right Christmas tree decorations! I am going to crochet one a day throught Novemeber and then there will be enough for each bag plus a few extra for gifts. The bags last year were great but took a few hours each to make. I want little items to make this year so I have time to crochet gifts and orders.

I will be doing a weekly post on my progress and posting daily on Instagram & Twitter using the hashtag #DecADay feel free to join me if you like. Make sure you share your makes with me.

Wish me luck!


Thursday, 30 October 2014

On My Hook: October

This month has been a really busy month but I have still managed to squeeze in quite of bit of crochet. I tend to do it at night when I am watching TV.

I had two proper commissions this month, not just my family asking me to make things!

First where these two bags for a ladies who wanted them for her daughter and baby granddaughter. One is actually a lot smaller than then the other I am just really bad at pictures!






She had seen a pattern in magazine and asked if I could make it.  The pattern wasn't great so I bought the book in which the pattern was originally published and it was better but not by much. The pattern was just for the tube of the bags and then there were instructions for a cloth lining so I played around and crocheted the whole bag.

Next was this super gorgeous baby blanket for my friends baby nephew.  I had made her one for her new baby and she wanted one for her sister. They were over the moon with it and so what I.





I was feeling a bit sorry for myself so I crocheted a shrug. It wasn't quite the was I envisioned it and didn't look quite like the picture with the pattern which you can find on Lion Brand Yarn but I think that is because of the yarn I used. 



I also made this spooky Halloween garland that my daughter asked for. The ghost's are from a simply crochet pattern and the mini pumpkins were a ravelry pattern . I was sent some yarn from Craft Merrily for my November Crochet Challenge that I will tell you all about on Saturday so I used some of the stash for this garland. 



I also had a play around with slippers following a pattern from 2Create in Color. My first one a little big but the second fit lovely. 




My daughter than asked for a pair so I adjusted the size basically by keep getting her to try it on and adding or taking away stitches. I added an extra row around the top and then a a few rows at the back for a higher heel. I also added a strap. She is really happy with them.






What did you crochet in October? 

Psst I am running a little giveaway on my facebook page.

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Have You Seen My Kaliko Dress?

No? Oh its really, really lovely. The very kind people at Kaliko sent it to me for a weekend away in Edinburgh, unfortunately I spent so long drooling over their Autumn/Winter range I ordered it a little too late.  However it was perfect for my CHILD FREE holiday in Tenerife. did I mention it was a child free holiday?





Oops didn't mean to post a holiday pic *ahem*

The dress I ordered was the Alexa Print Prom Dress £89 which is actually in the sale at £39 now plus an extra 20% off! Actually the sale is brilliant and a few items may have fell into my basket.

I love almost everything about this dress, the cut, the colour, the material, the way it fits and the way it moves. It is really comfy to wear and can totally be dressed up or down.

I wore it out for dinner at a swanky restaurant while we were away. Teamed with black sandals and red lips.




It is also the most perfect autumn dress teamed with black tights and boots. I  prefer shorter sleeves so this dress is just right and if I get too cold I can slip on a cardi. 




This dress is now a firm favourite in my wardrobe. It also washes really and I just hung up on a coat hanger to dry and there were no creases! always a bonus.

Kaliko really do have a great range of clothes is really good sizes, that are flattering.

If you are looking for a good coat try their Pastel Pink Coat and raise money for Macmillan Cancer. £10 from each sale will go to this great charity until the 31st October.



Right I'm off to pay for my new dress!

Saturday, 25 October 2014

Hooray For Half Term

I thought this term would never end, it seems to above dragged on for a ages. We are all tired and grumpy and ready for a rest. BG's first term in year 1 has been a big adjustment for her, they have moved away from learning through play to more structured learning. She's really taken it in her stride and has worked hard and tried her best and I can't ask for more. She also started dance club which makes Monday's extra long but she loves going so who I am to stop her. 

This week she had her school assembly and she has line and made me very proud. She came home that night with a gold reading award, a good behaviour award, 10/10 in her spelling test and a role of Mrs Claus in the Christmas play. I have a feeling the next term will be even busier!

The last few weeks my MIL has been ill so childcare and been sparse which has meant many a working evening. Plus has I don't seem to have enough to do I have started a handmade crochet business you can find me on facebook.

The last month has taken its toll and I am full of cold and have an eye infection. The child went off to their nan's yesterday so today has involved old movies and some crochet.  For once I am making something for me, a nice big chunky shrug which I am hoping to finish tonight. 



The girls are back tomorrow and we have plans for lazy days, Halloween baking and crafts and a trip to our local theatre. But today I am going to rest and recuperate.


Wednesday, 17 September 2014

On My Hook: Summer



I am such a lazy blogger how I have managed to do it for 5 years I couldn't tell you! I meant to do a monthly post on what I had been crocheting and well Summer and the children got in the way! Anyway I thought I would do a round up of what I did over the summer and see how I go next month!

So this is what I made this summer:


 I finally finished the baby blanket for my friend. It done just in time as baby decided to come early.




Next was my Mabel Ripple cushion. This is just for us but I have made another cushion in just the ripple and need to make three more for Christmas gifts!






I made my friend bunting for her kitchen I love the colours. 


I got my first proper commission for two granny squares bags. Here are the first 6 squares, I will share the finished bags when they are done.


While I was waiting for the details to be finalised and yarn to arrive. I did some more work on my epic granny square blanket. These squares just need their black round.


I had a little play with Christmas stars. I love the brighter colours.


I have add two more orders for baby blankets which is really exciting!  

I have a new facebook page and when I reach 100 fans I will run a little giveaway so pop over and give it a little like for me please.

What have you been making? 

Friday, 12 September 2014

Getting My Autumn On: Lentil Soup

Autumn is upon and that means its soup time! I love making my own soup I get a real sense of achievement and something yummy to eat.

This is a really simple soup to make, its tastes great and fills you up. 

Ingredients:


  • ¼ cup of frozen onion (I hate chopping it)
  • 2 Diced Carrots  
  • 1 stick of celery diced
  • 1 cup of red lentils
  • Dried mixed herbs
  • Litre and a half of stock (I used chicken)
  • 2 Bay leaves
  • Seasoning


  • Fry the onion in a little olive oil for a few minutes then add the carrot and celery and cook for a further 5 mins.
  • Add the dried herbs and the lentils and stir.
  • Add the stock and bay leaves.
  • Bring to the boil and simmer for 40 minutes.
  • Blend to your liking.
  • Eat
I added a little black pepper to my bowl.


It’s keeps in the fridge for a few days and freezes well. 

Have you got any good soup recipes?

Tasty Tuesdays on HonestMum.com

Friday, 29 August 2014

A Little Present For You

If anyone asks I am not playing on my blog I am working, Got it? Good.

I am currently printing out some weekly schedules ahead of next week for work (see working) that I have made it myself (get me).  I got to thinking that maybe it be would be nice to share it with my friends and blog readers. 

Think of it as a late blogging birthday present as this blog turned one in June.

I have even done three different colours for you to choose from. Just click on the one you want and download the pdf. Easy!

(ignore the greyness of the background)




Monday, 11 August 2014

Look What I Made! The Mabel Ripple Crochet Cushion



The Other Half has put our tent up in the garden for the girls to play in during the summer, so I decided they needed cushions! I bought 6 cushions pads from Amazon for £6.40 and started to look for patterns.

Originally I was going to make different granny squares but then I was worried they would be different sizes.  I had a look through the Simply Crochet granny square app and fell in love with the Granny Mabel square. I went through my stash of yarn and choose:

Stylecraft Special DK

Parchment 1218
Teal 1062
Silver 1203
Turquoise 1068
Shrimp 1132

I did one square and then measured it and by a stroke of luck it 1/9 of the size of the cushion so 9 squares would fit perfectly.

It was my first attempt at sewing granny squares together and to be honest its not perfect. A few corner connections are a bit dodgy but its going to be thrown around the garden so I am not too worried.



I wanted a different look on the other side so I thought it was a great chance to try a ripple for the first time. I used Lucy at Attic 24 Neat Ripple pattern and it was so easy to follow and was really nice to crochet. To fit my cushion which is 45 X 45 cm my starting chain was 59 stitches and I crotched 30 rows (including the starting row). 


It fitted together just right! I stitched 3 sides together with the wrong sides facing each other and the turned it the right way around, put the cushion in and then stitched the final side.

I rather like it and I have already had an order from my sister for a ripple one! 


Monday, 28 July 2014

My Perfect Summer Outfit

Hasn't the weather been lovely. I have been living in shorts and dresses and have realised I need some new clothes!

After searching around I think I have come up with the perfect summer outfit.



I love the maxi dress from Dash. The embroidery is beautiful and I really love the colour. even better its in the sale so only £15! 

Changing bags that don't look like changing bags are my favourite kind of bags. I love, love, love this Paris Real Leather Baby Changing Bag £149.99 from Kids One Stop Shop (disclaimer they are my client). Its so pretty and the colour is perfect for summer.

I have been lusting over a pair of Saltwater sandals for ages. I like the tan colour as I think they will go with everything though they do a gorgeous turquoise pair!  

A hat is a must in the summer and I have my eye on this floppy one from Jasper Conran at Debenhams. Its nice and floppy and is currently £15.90 

I only wear sliver jewellery and I think the Shiny Sliver Bangle £12.09 from Etsy will finish this outfit off nicely.

What's your prefect summer outfit? 

Thursday, 26 June 2014

Making Last Minute Business Cards

As I was getting ready to attend Britmums Live last week for my client Kids One Stop Shop I realised I didn't have any business cards of my own to give out to bloggers or potential partners.

I was in London earlier in the week so decided to pop into Paperchase as there was a sale on when I saw these brilliant place cards.



An idea formed in my head, these would be perfect for business cards. I could cut them in half and using some stamps I already had and have something unique.



And that's what I did!

They are not perfect, they got a bit smudged and my email is far too long for the card so I had to handwrite the end, but I am really happy with the effect.


The cards cost £2 for 10 which I turned into 20. I bought the stamp set last year from ebay for about £2.50 and inkpads are about £1-£2. I use the stamps quite a bit and the ink last forever.

If I hadn't found the place cards but other option would have been brown luggage tags which I use a lot for gifts. I have a selection of stamps and tapes which I use to pretty up brown paper.

Have you ever made your own business cards? 

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

#theyearinbooks June

May went far too quickly for my liking! I planned on reading Pink Suit by Nicole Mary Kelby and The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey.

I only managed one Pink Suit by Nicole Mary Kelby and I have to be honest it wasn't the most enjoyable boom for me. I found the start really slow and then the ending felt rushed. I found myself really disliking the main character at times which I don't think was intended by the author. The book is based around the Pink Suit worn by Jackie Kennedy when her husband is shot. Its the story of the dress maker who made it and her life around that time. 

It just wasn't for me. 

I didn't have time for The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey so I have added it to this months list alongside The Last Day by Emily Organ which I have to confess I have already started and its really good. 


What are you reading?

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Letting Go of the Guilt


I recently made a decision to let go of all the guilt I had been feeling.  It had been building up and making me feel unhappy.

Guilt for being a WAHM.

Guilt for being a part time SAHM.

Guilt for working in the evenings.

Guilt because my girls go to their nan's every Friday I get child free time.

Guilt because I find time to read and crochet.

Guilt, Guilt, Guilt.

Someone of it I put on myself, some is projected on me by others. I see tweets and FB statuses almost berating mums that find time for themselves to do the things that like to do. They don't spend every second of the day running around after their children or constantly doing housework.

I work hard and look after my children, I keep a clean house and my OH does the same. We work as a team which means I have time to myself when I need it and so does he. I used to save all my work for the two days I week I had to work but found I was working frantically to get it all done. I felt guilty because I did work in the evening and when I didn't I felt guilty for not working. So now once the girls are in bed I sit down for an hour and work and then I spend the rest of the night with my OH.

Sometimes I crochet when we watch TV and sometimes I go to bed early to read. I carve out time for myself which means I am happier, which means my family is happy as mummy is not stressed.

I make one on one time for BG. Me and Little Miss go to toddler groups and coffee mornings guilt free.

My house is clean but cluttered. I have learnt to accept this about me and I feel good about that.

I don't iron but I cook our meals from scratch. Somehow our life has balanced out and it works for us.

I have let go of all the guilt and I am a happier woman for it.

Saturday, 10 May 2014

#40NewThings The Final List

I thought I'd better update you on our I did with my #40NewThings 

I have to admit that some days I didn't do a new thing and then others I did two or three.

We will find out together if I managed 40!

Here we go:




Off on a school night to see Russell Kane 



Learnt how to decoupage Easter eggs. 


New yarn and hooks (Just a small selection of my new stash) 

Spoke to a new mum in the park. 

New red lipstick 


Working on bunny number 4. Loving the new colours I am using 


Picked up my new prescription sunglasses 


Bunny number 4 completed 


Lovely little cruise down the Thames. 


Guess who found the Lindt shop! 


Watching rugby at the new Wembley Stadium 


Getting my burger on at @handmadeburgerco


Started Life After Life 


Orange Lindt Lindor 

My new toy 

Trying a brioche burger bun tonight 

Hosted my first twitter chat #freelancehour 



Mothers Day Daffodils given to me after my first Mothers Day lunch at BG's school 



Tea, chocolate and the new Simply Crochet #bliss 


Mummy rocking her new me&i dress 


Took BG and my dad to a preview screening of Rio 2 

Took on new client 




Made my own notice board and used my glue gun for the first time 



Bunny #5 


Bunny #6 

Started a new spring project 

Started on new client account

Went to a friends new house


Made a large chocolate Easter nest 

Took BG to see Pirate Gran at our local theatre 


Spring Garland. I am really happy with this. Its not big but it looks fab. I have glued two small magnets to the back so it can go on the fridge or be hung up. 


Little Easter Basket for BG 

Made homemade wholemeal pizza and planted load of seeds including sweet corn for the first time



Homemade Turkey Burger 


Tried a new bunny pattern


Off out with the mums tonight. We are going to bingo 

Decoupage eggs for BG's Easter Egg Hunt

Crochet a egg 

Swatching colour combinations for a baby blanket 

Painted twigs 

New Spring bunting 

Listened to new Palmo faith album
Attempted to make up my own baked rice dish but it failed terribly
Bought new clothes 

In total I did 53 new things!! I really love this project but found a new thing everyday quite tough and so often it would be little things. I am going to carry on with this but will do a big new thing each month.

My new thing for April (as well as all the things above) was running a workshop at a blog conference. Me and Pippa ran a session on the Blogger platform, it was scary but I loved it!

What new thing have you done recently?