Monday, 20 August 2012


....the house is a tip....

I've given up trying to make it look decent.

I hope people give me at least 5 minutes notice before they turn up.

I realise with 3 boys being at home all day, I am not going to win the battle, and may as well just bide my time until the start of the school term and normality can resume.

They have been good actually. Three boys in one space for too long is usually a disaster. I am not tearing my hair out......

....but the mess...........oh the mess.......

I'll just have a cuppa and forget about it all........


Friday, 17 August 2012

The 'All Boys' Blanket.......

So, hip hip hooray, another blanket finished! 

Thank Goodness!

I still have another blanket almost finished, but boy am I churning these babies out! 

I cannot believe that I was muppet enough to take on three blankets at the same time. What was I thinking. It's my downfall. I don't plan. I should plan more, but it would appear that it's just not me.

Now, I was going to name this blanket 'Hearts and Stars', simply because it consisted of a centre which looked pretty and star like, and the second round looked like little hearts smiling at you.

That soon changed though, when, as I was doing the outer edging, one by one, each male in the house came by and said 'I like that, who's it for? Can I have it?'

So it became the 'All Boy's Blanket' just because I won't get a look in!

This blanket was semi planned. In the sense that I had it in mind to do a blanket in these colours.

A few years ago, I was given a craft book as a gift. It was really before I had embarked on my crafting journey. I had left work and knew I was going on some sort of crafty adventure, but I hadn't committed as to which one. In my head it was supposed to be sewing.

The book was Nicki Trench's Homemade Gifts.

I couldn't knit, or crochet but I did feel inspired.

I fell in love with a particular blanket. This one.

It made my heart skip. I LOVED the idea of having a picnic blanket that was handmade. I loved the blue of the blanket and the burst of colour in the flowers. 

At that moment in time I could but dream, as I hadn't the faintest idea of how to work a hook.

When I started to learn to crochet I had several blankets in mind that I knew I had to get out of my system. This was one of them. 

One day I picked up a ball of yarn. It was one ball. It was all the shop had but I liked the colour so much.   A couple of years later I saw a pile of the same coloured yarn and snapped it up so happy with my delicious little purchase.

It remained in a box ready for the right moment. 

I did love Nicki Trench's blanket, but reading The Royal Sisters Blog one day and seeing Michelle's 'Grandma All Square' blanket, I loved her little squares of goodness. I could see the hearts and stars popping out. Suddenly I was thinking what a perfect blanket this would be to use my yarn stash for.

So the squares were made bit by bit.

 The very lovely and talented Michelle has provided a fantastic tutorial to go with this blanket. Now, I'm not entirely sure why, but I didn't follow it to the letter. I think I just looked at a motif and made one up from the picture, so my squares are a little different, and I didn't do the 'join as you go' method either that Michelle uses. So although, it's not entirely the same, along with Nicki Trench's blanket for colour inspiraion, Michelle's blanket provided the main inspiration for the construction.

As usual, me being the impetuous, impulsive, non thinking muppet that I am, I realised half way through putting on the outer edging, that I had not got enough petrol blue to edge all the little circles, sew it all up and add a border. Realising that this was indeed discontinued yarn meant a lot of internet searching and a lot of waiting. So the 'All Boy's Blanket' had to be put on hold. Happily enough though, as seen from a couple of posts ago, this saw the unexpected making of my previous blanket so I cannot complain!

I was getting so excited seeing these little squares all coming together.

I was so glad I took it away with me. It was bliss sitting out in the garden on a beautiful day working on it.

It was lovely to lay it all out and get a feel for how it was coming along.

The Bears had taken a real shine to it and Mr H proclaimed it was by far his favourite.

The border was a tricky one. I had limited yarn, and, although I had wanted a minimal border on this one, it had to be a bit more minimal than I perhaps would have liked. No matter. A couple more rounds would have been preferred but I am happy with the result.

Seeing it finished and draped ready for use, it made my heart sing! I do love it, I REALLY REALLY love it. I know this will be a well used blanket, and that in itself makes me deliriously happy. There is nothing nicer than seeing something that you have spent hours and hours making being used and loved.

 A seriously good feeling!

So, another blanket ticked off the list. Not sure I will get my hands on it, but I think it may be snapped up and taken on the odd picnic or two......

The blanket was made using different scraps of yarn I had available in my stash. I'm definitely a mix and match kind of girl. I don't think i've yet to make something that was all in one brand. Gasp, shock horror, but it works for me.

Righty ho, on to blanket number three now. Just a few more squares to add, a border to put on and some ends to sew in and I will be finished and ready for a post! 

You sick of blanket show and tell yet?!!!!!


Tuesday, 14 August 2012

I have been.........


.......and it was bliss........

Great weather, lovely company and well behaved Bears. What more could a girl ask for?!

It was lovely to be by the sea. I long to live by it. To hear and smell it everyday. For now though, I have to be content with being by it every now and then. So I drink up every last drop of sea air when I am there and it manages (just) to see me through until my next visit.

I got to see family and the Bears got to see some of their cousins which they loved. Sea air.......and tea. I drank a lot of tea! I drink a lot of tea anyway, but when you are in the company of two people who are MASSIVE china collectors, it's even more of a joy to drink tea and choose a nice cup to drink out of.

oh and cake too......

I'm missing my pretty tea cup drinking very much.

I woke without an alarm, had long leisurely breakfasts where chatter lasted hours and mooched in the garden with the bears soaking up some vitamin D and feeling happy.

We watched the Olympics with gusto and felt proud to see the Union Jack raised so many times....

I loved watching the Olympics, and thought the opening ceremony was ace, but I was cringing at the closing ceremony. I thought it was totally naff. A glorified Eurovision and it left me flat. I must be in the minority though as everyone else thought it was super. Just not for me. Sorry if I offend! 

I'm sure I will get the blues for a bit and I have a mountain to unpack and wash and sort and put away. You know, the usual. 

I did come home with a couple of treats to keep the 'happy' levels elevated......

I have to say, my heart nearly went into overdrive when I stumbled upon these lovely little beauties. 

I almost let out a piggy squeal! Most un-lady like! 

So dainty and delicate and I have never seen anything like them before. 

So, they were my little 'being away' treat to myself.

They matched my thrifty little purchase too......

I fell in love with these and at 50p for two I couldn't leave them on the shelf.

I was pleased that my ''You walk ahead, i'm just nipping in here" paid off and I found a couple of cups and saucers which were perfect for my picnic hamper. A couple of months ago I found the little bowls that matched, so I was very happy indeed!

I did also sneak in a few CK bowls as we are always running out of bowls in this house and I needed to replace some chipped ones. I blame the Bears's their fault!

And lastly, my beautiful Sister-in-law had a stash of plates to give me she had come across. Knowing my love for utility china she knew they were a must for me! How lovely was she?!!!!!

And they match perfectly well with my new pink pieces.....

So, a beautiful week away, a few little treasures to remind me of the trip and I am a happy little bunny.......

.....but do you know what?

I think I might even have a second blanket reveal coming too!

I took it away with me, and managed to get a bit of quiet crochet time in the garden.

Wow, I cannot believe that I have finished two blankets within a couple of weeks of each other. I love it, Mr H and the Bears love it. I am not sure I am going to get a look in with it, but I can tell it is going to be a well used blanket. No matter though, my last blanket was all for me, so i'm sure I can cope with not getting a look in!

Watch out for my next post. Give me a couple of days to get my house back in order and then i'll be posting the finished article! 

WOO HOO!!!!!!!!

Until next time...........


Thursday, 2 August 2012



Noun: The occurrence and development of events by chance in a happy way


Do you ever realise that, something rather lovely happens because of a lot of happy little events all coming together?

I have had that happen a couple of times this year. I don't realise it until after the said 'thing' has happened and I realise all the events that took place to achieve it.

Am I making sense?

Probably not.

Okay, let me explain a bit more......

I made something I ADORE. It was totally by accident. It was something I had seen and admired but hadn't felt that 'need' to all.


.......lots of happy little things happened along the way to all come together to get me to make it. Serendipitous.

Please forgive the long blurb in reaching my conclusion, but it is somewhat necessary in explaining how it all came to fruition.

 I remember, a long way back, doing a post about colour. Colour is a personal thing. We all have colours and shades that we are naturally drawn to.......and shades we just cannot cope with. I have several 'sets' of shades I like. If I was to be asked what my favourite colour was, I would have to say Blue. I said this to a couple of people recently and they were actually quite shocked! They would have sworn it would have been pink!

Well, I do like pink. But only certain shades. Palest pink, ballet pink, dirty pink, salmon pink, apricot pink. That's about it.

But Blue? I like so many shades of blue. Pale blues, chalky blues, grey/blues I adore. Yet, stick a bit of green in the mix to give sea blues, aqua blues, minty blues both bright and subdued, I LOVE them all. So yes, it has to be blue. I love far more shades over pink.

I love blues, pinks and naturals all mixed up, brights all jumbled together, and aqua. These are my favourites if anyone were to have put me on the colour spot.

When the summer comes (and we actually get decent weather!), I live mainly in white. Usually teamed with an blue/aqua cardi or a pink cardi. 

There are a couple of colours I have always found hard to take. Lilac and Orange. Bright Lilac is definitely a no go for me, always has been and still is. Orange......well......something has happened about that one. I COULD NOT STAND pumpkin orange. I dreaded Halloween. Seeing that ghastly colour EVERYWHERE for a month or so. I never had pumpkins in the house as I just couldn't look at them. I found them totally awful on the eye. I did realise, that although I had no grievance with yellow, it's close on the scale to orange so I never really had it in my house. I introduced yellow shortly after this little revelation, and having done it, I started to be able to tolerate pale shades of orange. I started off with very peachy pinks and slowly they turned more orangy! I'm still not overly keen on pumpkin orange. I don't think i'll ever change on that score but I am starting to tolerate it more, and even feel that it has a place in projects. Oranges HAVE to be teamed with pink though, to be restful enough on the eye. That's my one stipulation!

So, happy little occurances........

1. Although I wear a lot of aqua and a lot of peachy pink, it dawned on me how much I like wearing peachy pinks and aquas together. I never watch daytime television. I was at a friends one morning and a daytime television show was on. It happened to be on a fashion feature at the time. I saw the prettiest necklace in a peachy pink adorned on a models neck. Upon discovering it was a) cheap, and b) was from a store that was local to me, the next time I was there, it was popped in the basket. I realised just how much I loved wearing it with a turquoise cardi. I was thankful that day that I got to see this brief snippet of television as it provided me with lots of happy little necklace wearing smiles. Happy little me.

2.  It also dawned on me, just how much peachy pink and aqua I have around the house together. I would have said I had more pale blue with pink, but looking around my house with a more watchful eye, it seems shades of aqua and peachy pink are more or less everywhere. Funny how you do something without actually really giving it any thought. A happy thought I concluded.

3. I was walking around my local yarn store and I saw a cubby hole of yarn that had me salivating. It took me by surprise because it! Admittedly, it was a peachy orange, but none the less, it had me all a fluster. I hastily snapped up a fair few balls. I didn't have any plans in my head for it, but I just knew I had to get it. Also, next to it, lay a cubby hole full of a gorgeous aqua coloured yarn. It was WOW, and I ended up taking a few balls of that home with me too. Happy little me.

4. I was making a blanket. One that I decided to do sort of on a whim. The kind I start as soon as the thought pops into my head, without planning. Lack of planning meant that I ran out of yarn in the major outlining colourway which was discontinued. This meant a lot of searching to find more and a wait to get it delivered. 

So, whilst twiddling my thumbs and looking around my living room, I had a little thought. Baby Bear has made great use of my foot stools. Last year I purchased one from a car boot with the view to sprucing it up. It was bought for £3.50, and a week later my lovely sister-in-law found another one for £2.00 and bought it for me. I very quickly added a stripey little cover to both to make them pretty and cheery. It was hastily done, once again with little thought,  and in a yarn that was not going to wear well. Baby Bear liked to use them a lot and run his cars along them, creating a few 'snags' here and there. It was time for a stool re-vamp. They would be quick and easy to do whilst waiting for my yarn to arrive. A perfect little easy peasy project to keep those idle hands out of mischief. I was actually a little thankful to have run out of yarn as without it, I think the shabby little foot stools may have stayed shabby for a fair bit longer.

I had thought about doing the same type of cover, just with better yarn and fresher colours, but when it came to do it, I thought I was bored of the stripes and fancied a change. What though, I was not sure. So the search was on to try and find some sort of pattern and inspiration to make my little foot stools all nice and fresh again. Pinterest was a good place to start. I immediately came across Dottie Angel's rather lovely foot stoolI follow her blog. I had seen it before and admired it greatly, but not ever felt the need to make any of her 'How To's'. 

Right, now before I go any further with this little story, let me digress a little. I do love to read Dottie Angel's Blog. I ADORE her style, her 'How To's', her crochet and her stitching. She is truly inspirational. I have seen lots of her style replicated here in blog land and it's amazing. Yet, I have not made a thing remotely Dottie-esque. 


Imagine you go into a beautiful homeware store. Immediately in front of you is a glass shelf, filled to the brim with an array of different coloured glass vases. All different shapes and sizes and colours. The stores spotlights beam down on the vases through the glass shelving and they illuminate like a treasure chest full of sparkling jewels. You are totally mesmerised by it all and think you cannot leave the store without taking home your favourite one. So, you gaze and gaze at the dazzling beauties and choose your favourite. You get it wrapped, the excitement is overwhelming. All the way home you have this spring in your step. You cannot wait to open it. You run in to your home, unwrap it and place it on your shelf. 

You stare at it. 

You keep staring at it.

Your heart sinks a little. 

It looks rather dull and ordinary. 

There are no glass shelves, spotlights and other bright colours to make your purchase truly stand out. In your little abode, it looks....well....a bit pants.

I think I had felt this about Dottie Angels 'How To's'. However fab I thought they were, I felt that if I decided to have a little 'Dottie style' in my house, the joy of the make would be flattened by having said make in my pants old house looking totally out of place. Dottie Angel's vintage style is truly one of a kind. I just didn't think I could take the inspiration and pull it off in my humble abode. It was as if it was only magical if it stayed in her world!

However, Dottie Angel's foot stool was very similar in style to mine and there was a 'How To' for it. So, with a pattern that would fit and make things 'easier' and 'quicker' for me, I decided to have a go. The 'How To' was straight forward, with a link to Mille Makes for the actual flower puff and a granny square pattern. I made two foot stool covers and was very happy indeed.

It should have ended there. The foot stool covers were quick and simple and my yarn for my blanket was due to arrive any day. So job done, end of.

Not quite though.

You see, I REALLY enjoyed making the flower puffs. Very relaxing, satisfying and therapeutic. 

I was very taken with this foot stool pattern of Tiff's. It was delicious made in chunky yarn. It was incredibly touchy feely, and I do like a touchy feely crafty project. It was fun to make. Mille Makes had showed the pattern to make granny squares, which she had turned into cushions. I loved the flowers so much that I thought a cushion would be rather nice too. Tiff had a blanket made with the squares. I had seen this blanket on many an occasion. Little Olive loves this blanket. Suddenly, it all came together. The necklace, the colour love realisation, the orange and aqua yarn buy, the lack of blanket yarn leading to the puffed flower, the foot all seemed to come to this point. Yeap.......I wanted to make a blanket, inspired by millie makes granny square tutorial and Tiff's blanket. I wanted one of my own. I actually wanted to attempt something that I thought was beautiful and actually wouldn't look completely out of place in my home.

So I began. I wanted to use the the orangey yarn I had purchased, add some darker tones in the mix and some pinky tones too. I had purchased a pumpkin-y coloured yarn a while back to put into Baby Bears Circus Patchwork Blanket. The blanket needed it however much it pained me to put it in. I still had some left over and realised that it needed to be used in this. However, used in a small enough quantity and with pale pink I thought I could pull it off and be able to 'live' with it! 

So I got to work making my orangey and pinky flower motifs. 

It soon became apparant though, that however much I loved Tiff's blanket, I wanted to make it slightly different. So I decided to add shades of yellow into the mix.

I bundled all my shades in a bag and was quite happy at how they all went together. So square by square they grew......

I laid them all out when the numbers were done and I was pretty pleased with the results. Raised little coloured flowers all in a row.

Then, when it came to putting all the squares together, I used the lovely aqua shade I bought the same day I bought the orange yarn. 

So, there we go. A very spontanious blanket, made purely by some serendipitous occurrances happening in a short space of time. It took me totally by surprise.....but what a happy little surprise. I do ADORE it, and it doesn't look out of place in my home. 

So....there we go.

Sorry for the long windedness of this post. I suppose I could have really summed it up in one paragraph. Thank you for sticking with it, if you didn't skim read! I think it will be a happy little garden blanket. I have been able to incorporate shades of orange and be really happy with the result. Maybe there is hope for bright lilac then?.............................erm no!

So, this is what I have been doing in the weeks in which I have been quiet. I have had 3 blankets on the go, a couple of foot stools, a cushion cover and a shawl. That's a fair bit of crocheting. My little fingers have been really working hard. Trouble is, working on quite a few projects all at the same time means it takes a while for a ta-dah post to come along.

I hadn't planned on making this blanket. I hadn't planned on making a blanket that was so similar in colours to Dottie Angel's either. It just seemed all the little things happening recently suddenly led to it. It really was a serendipitous happening. I do love it, and have tried to make it a little different with the yellow in the mix, but, I really loved making the squares and would love to make another that was completely different in colour. I'm thinking garden meadow! Sounds rather yummy doesn't it?!

But, I think it might be a while though before I attempt another blanket. Making 3 on the go nearly killed me! Never again! I don't seem to have been able to have fought the creative flow, and my usual 'gun ho, jolly hockey sticks' kind of attitude made a lot of work for myself! Still, three blankets to come off the back of my Evening Sun Blanket this year is an achievement for me!

Well, this means now that I am freed up to continue with my original blanket. I have almost finished putting the squares together and then just the sewing in of the ends (and flippin' 'eck, there are a lot!), and that too will be ready for use too!

Phew! Thank you for reading, if you did!


P.S.  Please may I ask that if you 'Pin' any of these images, please do credit Dottie Angel and Mille Makes for the inspiration. This is not my design. I have provided links to Dottie Angel's stool 'How To' and to Mille Makes 'Something Pretty' Pattern . Although the time, effort and photography of this particular blanket was mine, the original ideas and inspiration were the work of others and they need to be credited as such. Many thanks!