31 January 2012

Photo Scavenger Hunt - January 2012

I decided to join in with Kathy (Postcards From The PP)'s Photo Scavenger Hunt this year.  Here goes my January entry ...

2 : Rolls of wallpaper from Next which have just been delivered.  (Half the price of CK and just as pretty in my opinion).

BLUR : Bertie never stays still for a photo.

COMPANY : I always have the radio on for company, it's far too quiet without.

ENTRANCE : Notre Dame.  From our trip to Paris in December.  Beautiful isn't it?

IN MY BATHROOM : My starfish.  I bought them in Spain and they now live on top of our loo.  (Hmmm, I sure they were delighted to trade their sunny climes for cold ceramic and bare bottoms!!!)

IN SEASON : My plummy Hellebore.  Just about the only natural colour in the garden at the moment.

IN THE DISTANCE : We had some stunning sunsets last week.  I took this from our first floor lounge window and just love the rooftop silhouettes.

INFORMATION : Check out Little Miss Organised!

MESS : Bertie's muddy footprints on the utility room floor.

ODD : A red pear.  Well I've never seen one before!

SOFT : We each have a fleece blanket on our beds and we call them our 'softs'.  This is D's and my teal soft.

WARNING : The red wheel of doom!

Ta dah!  What fun.

Links to all the others taking part can be found here.


28 January 2012

Spanish Skies

The painting of Blondie Daughter's room is going well.  After a brief deliberation, we ditched lilac and opted for blue.  Very blue.

She is apparently going to lie in her bed and gaze up at the blueness and imagine it to be a Spanish summer sky.

Incidentally, I always decorate with a vase of tulips nearby.  Don't you?!  ;-)

Happy weekend.


23 January 2012

Procrastination And A New Project

Heddo.  *sniff*  *snuffle*

I'm wallowing in a sea of tissues and self-pity today.  Mind you, it's my first stinky cold since the summer so I guess I've done pretty well to last this long.

I know a lot of people consider Inhaler sticks as unhygienic but I love 'em!

It being January, I do like a project.  This year, Blondie Daughter and I are swapping rooms.  She currently has a big bedroom at the front of the house and I have a smallish craft/ironing room at the back.  She is the messiest child I have ever come across and I mean SERIOUSLY messy.  For ages I have been threatening a room swap, thinking in some misguided way this might encourage her to mend her slovenly ways.  Anyway, in a rather sweet moment last week, she confided that she thought that "perhaps, maybe" her room is too big for her to keep tidy.  She really rather "likes the idea of a smaller, cosy room".  Well, she'd barely finished the sentence before I was making plans!

Unfortunately D has stepped in and flexed his DIY muscles, insisting we first address a few minor structural issues.  We bought our house from new ten years ago and, in certain areas, big cracks and chips in the plaster have appeared.  I'd gladly waft a paintbrush over and ignore them but Mr 'Let's Do Things Properly' has been quite adamant.

He has already turfed a lot of my things into careless piles and invaded with his ugly man tools ...

My poor little craft room in it's current state.

Feel sorry for me?

My job for today is to clear the contents of my craft room and move them into Blondie Daughter's bedroom.  She has, apparently, tidied it for me in readiness ...

Blondie Daughter's bedroom.  This is it tidied, honestly.

No, I really am excited about the project but just finding it a little hard to get going today.

Anyway, when D has done his bit I shall be decorating her 'new room'.  She's chosen lilac which isn't my favourite colour to be honest but it's what she desperately wants.  This pretty, long blond-haired daughter of mine is going through a 'pink is forbidden' phase at the moment.  Only yesterday, she and D went shopping and came home with a new Liverpool FC football top for her.  And it's GREY!!!  I'm really hoping this will pass.  By way of 'compensation', she has let me order this for her, from Mini Boden ...


I haven't allowed myself to indulge too much in the plans for my 'new craft room' yet.  Needless to say, I have butterflies of unadulterated thrilledness when I think about it! :-)

So that's me today.  I'd better galvanise myself into some sort of action and get started.

Come to think of it, another quick cup of coffee and a good nose blow first.

What are you up to today?


PS. My bloggy friend Cathy has just opened up a new Etsy shop.  If you fancy browsing her vintage bits and bobs, do pop over for a look.

16 January 2012

Simple Crochet Bunting Tutorial

Since showing you my crochet bunting, I've had a couple of requests for the pattern.  It really is the perfect project for someone who has not long dipped their toes in the crochet pond so, here goes, my very first tutorial ...

Simple Crochet Bunting

The only stitches you need to know are:-

ch - chain
dc - double crochet (single crochet in US)

I'm using a 4mm hook and double knit weight yarn.


Row 1.  First, chain 2.

Row 2.  Work two dc into the second chain from the hook (ie. the first chain you made).

Row 3.  Turn your work.  Ch 1.  Dc twice into each of the two stitches.

You should now have four dc stitches in your row.

Row 4.  Turn your work.  Ch 1.  Dc twice in the first stitch then dc once in each of the remaining 3 stitches.  (5 stitches in row.)

Row 5.  Turn your work.  Ch 1.  Dc twice in the first stitch then dc once in each of the remaining 4 stitches.  (6 stitches in row.)

Row 6.  Turn your work.  Ch 1.  Dc twice in the first stitch then dc once in each of the remaining 5 stitches.  (7 stitches in row.)

And so on!  Continue working two dcs in the first stitch of each row and one in each of the rest.
Turn.  Ch 1.

Keep going until you are happy with the size of your triangle.

My last row had 24 stitches in it (23 rows) which has given me approximately 4.5" long triangles.

Fasten off and sew in the end of the yarn.

You can do the same with the original end of the yarn (at the bottom) or, do what I did, and thread it through a glass bead before knotting and cutting.

I recommend blocking your triangles before you join them together.

To join your bunting triangles together, select your choice of yarn.  I chose cream.  Chain 30 (or more if you want a longer tie) and then, right side of your triangle facing you, carefully double crochet along the top.

Carry on chaining (I chained 6 in between each triangle) and dc-ing along the tops of all your triangles and then chain an additional 30 for the other end of the tie.  Turn your work, chain 1 and then dc your way all the way back along both the chains (bit tricky so do take your time) and dcs.

Fasten off and sew in your ends.

That's it!

Well done!

You can now string up your rainbow of loveliness and sit back and admire or embellish it further with little flowers or even lettering.

I got so much help from other people's tutorials (especially those with lots of pictures) when I was teaching myself to crochet and still do.  I just hope this goes some way to help you too.

If you notice any glaring errors or omissions, or have any questions, do get in touch.  Please!

Despite it being quite hard work, I have the tutorial bug now (it's the bossy boots in me!) so, hopefully, this will be the first of a few.

For now, happy hooking my friends.


PS.  I used Sublime Baby Cashmere Merino Silk dk yarn.

PPS.  If your bunting is reluctant to lie flat, try blocking it face down and/or a liberal waft of spray starch or strong hairspray.

15 January 2012

Just A Normal Sunday Afternoon ...

D's making bread, following a recipe in his Great British Bake Off book ...

Blondie daughter is playing with new toys of the Moshi variety ...

... and reclaiming old and far-too-small ones ...

Blondie son is doing his homework ...

and I'm playing with crochet ...

... oh, and writing up my first crochet tutorial ...

... should be ready for tomorrow!

Hope you're having a lovely Sunday.


5 January 2012

Parenting in 2012 ...

Me: "Right guys. What do you fancy doing today?"

Blondie Son: "I know.  How about I try and play Xbox for 10 hours straight without vomiting?"


There was a twinkle in his eye but I swear he meant it.


3 January 2012

Flowers And Fairy Lights

(Pip Studio jug, a lovely Christmas pressie from a lovely friend.)

Well, it's been a real 'hold onto your hats' kind of day today.  We made a mad dash to the supermarket this morning for some essentials but, once home, it was hatches battened and comfies on.

I most definitely consider a bunch of spring flowers as an essential on a wild January day, don't you?

The Christmas decorations all came down on Monday and, whilst I was quite glad to pack them back into their box for another year, I do miss their prettiness.  So I've decided to keep my vintage bauble lights up.  I treated myself to them from here at the beginning of December and I so love the cosy colourful glow they cast in the corner of the lounge.  My crochet corner.

Talking of crochet, this afternoon, I spent a couple of gloriously indulgent hours finishing off my bunting while the Blondies both did their own thing.  It's now strung up above our bed and I'm tickled pink with it.  I'll try and take some photos of it in situ over the next day or two to show you.

Well, I'm off to bed now to gaze up at my latest make.  All this pottering is very tiring you know!