Friday, 27 February 2015

This Week......






....has been a little hurried.....but not as hurried as I thought it was going to be.......so that was a bonus.

It mainly consisted of getting back into the school and house routine.

I don't really do New Year's Resolutions, but I did decide it was about time I gave my house an overhaul. Sadly, it's in need of a LOT of tlc. You do one thing, and it's the case of flowers on the windowsill. I'm tackling storage issues at the moment. I'm a magpie, a gatherer (I hate the word Hoarder). I live in a little house, and the Bears are getting bigger. It was only ever meant to be a stop gap house, but it's been a little more than that. So, it's small for us all now, but now is not the time to think about moving when the elder Bears' are starting a critical schooling period. So, I make do, and juggle stuff around. Ikea has been a blessing in the storage tub department. I did come back with a bed too though. That was a tad unexpected. So was the sofa cover, minus the sofa (I couldn't fit a bed and a sofa in my car). That's ok though, it just calls for another trip!




Geez, I really do have a lot of crap. Nice crap though, that I cannot bear to part with. Urgh, I'm useless. I have donated about 8 huge bags to charity shops in the last month, and I feel a bit pleased about that. I asked the Bears what they would like different in the house if I was to re-decorate. Weirdly they said they liked the house as it was. So, it's not all bad then. I think just moving a few bits, storing a few bits, slopping a bit of paint here and there and things can carry on as normal.




In between all this, I did mundane stuff like iron. It's a job I really really LOATHE. I don't find it therapeutic, I find it a complete time waster (like dusting). But I did it. A MASSIVE basket of it, and for one teensy tiny moment, I felt like a domestic goddess, instead of a cleaning loser.



I'm that sad that I stick a pic of all my hours work here too. I seriously was proud of myself for sticking with it! 


The weather has been a mixed bag this week. Bright sunshine one moment, and dark grey clouds the next.

This week, the family computer was updated.Whilst I love new technology, I like what I'm used too. New updated versions of everything annoy me. I'm having trouble commenting on peoples posts, and it's such a faff to work out why. I'm not geek minded at all. Oh well, it gives me a chance to have a play.

I have been enjoying having an endless jug of flowers in my house this year so far. Mainly Daffs and Hyacinths.

The pale pink Hyacinths on my Mantel faded so, a Hyacinth bulb and some Narcissi have gone up.




I do have a lovely little pot of hyacinths and tulips bringing me delight. I keep moving them about the rooms. It's amazing how just a few flowers can lift one so much. They seem to be relatively cheap at the moment too.







Baby Bear made my heart sing when he handed me his picture. He told me that he loves how I make the Mantel different (it's often a thing we do together, he's like my little artistic director) and he thought he'd draw the Mantel that day. 



Awe bless him.


I have enjoyed kitchen time. I love it in my little kitchen when the sun shines.



I am currently liking pink and aqua/mint together.

I am loving little additions to the kitchen too, like sheep. Something rather cute about this one.



I love sorting, and noticing. I love bright and cheerful. I like chunky and necessary also.






I like the useful too....






I have been loving making bread. Or should I say 'trying'. I have been trying different methods. Some work and some don't.




I really wanted this one to work here but I just am not getting any results from it. It's not rising. Tastes decent enough and not heavy which is weird for it not rising really. I wonder if it's my conversions. I find it really hard to convert USA cup sizes to UK metric/imperial. There are sites that convert things but I find it a tad confusing. I'm guessing if it says one cup of flour and one cup of sugar for example, you measure in the same cup measurement. If you convert that on a chart it's different weights in grams but I guess it's just done in cups. I know I sound like a complete thicko, but I don't get the accuracy. Well, something is going wrong my end. I've found, actually doing the suggested ingredients from my bread maker pamphlet in my bread maker is working well. I don't like bread made in bread makers. I find the tin sizes annoying, and hate how it bakes with the dough hook in the loaf. Most bread makers can do the first bit for you and then you just do a last prove yourself and bake it yourself. That seems to work well for me. It takes two and a half hours from start to finish. I really quite fancied a loaf in an hour! Really just because I'm lazy. It's not like it's difficult to put the ingredients in a bread maker and then just leave it for an hour and a half.




I still am determined to make a loaf without any help form my bread maker. I shall carry on testing recipes.




Whilst the sun has shone I have been sorting in my little kitchen. It has been a lovely little spot to be in this week.




I have even managed a little bit of relax time. In between wash loads and ironing, my treat for doing it was something naughty and a good hot cuppa. Mundane simply has to be equalled with something lovely for me. I remember being at Uni and having to write a dissertation on Greek Mythology. It wasn't a module I really wanted to do, but I had to fit it around my teaching modules which sucked at the time. Anyway, I remember wondering how on earth I was to write so much on something that I didn't want to do. So, I decided every 500 hundred words, I would stop for a really nice drink and treat to reward myself. That way, it all sort of equalled itself out. In twenty years, nothing has changed it seems.

Also, This week has been a week of creative juices flowing. Oh my, I have so many ideas of things that I want to start or try. It's that nice exciting time, when you just buzz buzz buzz. Also annoying, as I have that excited nervous energy feeling. It's hard to concentrate when I have that. Also annoying, that suddenly I have all these ideas and I want to start them all.

I'm still researching yarn for when I make the 'proper' Bella Wrap. Now I know I can do it, I'm trying to find the 'right' shade of natural to make it in first. No yellowy hue in sight. I like Drops Andes for coloured ones.




I'm still plodding on with the Sunshine Day Blanket, but it is slow going this week. I have made progress on my footstool.



The black shiny fabric that was under the black crochet cover was covered over with a bit of calico. Big staplers are great things for work like this (not great if your youngest decides to check it out and staple your table). 

Of course it had to be pink didn't it. A dirty pink, my favourite shade of pink. I thought it goes so nicely with the lovely bare wood of the little legs. I did think that blue/grey would be nice also (in the background). A little cushion project that was never finished as I ran out of yarn, but I think it could work well too. I may just mix and match when the mood takes me. Hopefully the pink cover should be finished by tonight. Better than the black crocheted cover it came with. 




I also couldn't resist these balls from my local shop. Aren't they delicious? The mottled ones are Drops Fabel in shades 800 and 801, and the mauve one is Drops Baby Alpaca in shade 4314. I'm still in layering mode and thinking these would make super wrist warmers (like I need any more). This shade of mauve is about the only purpley/lilacy shade I can work with (it's a little pinker than the actual pic). I particularly love it teamed with deep forest greens and dark olives. I'm thinking on a Bella Wrap in those shades, so mauve wrist warmers should compliment it well! 

I also have plans for more embroidery. One is a big project, but I like the idea of doing it. Not sure that if I do it, I'll have anywhere to hang it in my little abode, but I think I'll love working on it. The other is a smaller project. The idea is whirring fast in my head, and I'm loving thinking about it.

This year too, I am planning to get to know my sewing machine a little better. I have a dress I want to make. It'll take a mountain of practice. With crochet, I wanted to learn it just to make a granny squares blanket. Nothing else interested me, it was just one simple blanket. I wanted to learn crochet, make the blanket, and then move on to learning another craft. Seven years later, and I haven't yet moved on. The same may be said with sewing. I want to learn to sew, simply to make a particular dress......and an A-line skirt. Two things, if I can master and make, then I should be happy enough to move on. Let's see if that's the case.

So, it's been a making, baking, clearing, sorting, ideas buzzing kind of week. 

A happy one.

I'll take that.

I'll also take another slice of warm bread. The buzzer has just gone. The Bear's are not going to get a look in. Somebody stop me, I'm outta control............




Have a super weekend all

xxx

















75 comments:

  1. Hey Vanessa,

    It sounds like you have had a lovely busy but productive week. I like those sorts! I know what you mean about your home never being for the long term and then somehow ending up that way. Keep shifting stuff about a paint project here and there it keeps me from getting down about it.

    Have loved seeing little snippets from your home it always looks so pretty and colourful. I was smiling when I read about bread making and bread makers. We have had a bread maker for a while second hand from my aunt my other half has really got into making bread just recently and where it does all the needing and proofing it does make it easier but agree that you end up with a standard sized loaf!

    I have been loving all your projects you have been making recently. I must get on with my blanket I started about this time last year! I have rather fell out with it though!

    I do sometimes wish I could find the mojo to return to blogging as I do miss writing . Maybe one day.

    P x

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    1. I've found the bread turns out lovely if you just do the dough cycle in the bread maker. It kneads and rests it and gives it its first prove, then you just tip it out, knock it back, prove for another 20 mins and then bake in your oven. The results have been lovely. A really good more-ish loaf that looks like a bloomer instead of the teeny loaf one in the bread maker. I shouldn't moan, my hips are though...i've eaten so much this week!

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  2. Looks like a lovely week! And so pretty. I am almost inspired to go and clean and iron... I am actually enjoying this early springtime clearing and sorting though happily slowly. Today though after a quick tidy is now wool time. Lovely

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  3. Oh, and do hope all well after horrible cold...

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  4. Great post, as always. I will send you US measuring cups if you would like. They're cheap and it would be easier than you trying to convert your recipes. All you would need is a measuring cup set and a measuring teaspoon set.

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    1. Awe thank you Gail. I do have some, I just never really know how to use them! It makes sense too with American recipes though! I just need to dive in and see if I can do it! Metric/Imperial has always been my friend, so it's always strange relying on another method! I shall give it a go though! x

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  5. What a beautiful week! I think you and I must live parallel lives, albeit several counties apart. These lads of mine are gorwing like weeds, and some is their pile of possessions. How lucky they are! And thank goodness I only live half an hour away from Ikea. I too have been re-arranging storage in our too-small not-quite forever house, but I'm struggling to rid myself (and my husband) of all the books, DVDs and CDs. I think I could live without it all, but we will see. Last week I managed to get rid of lots of baby stuff, but there's still more clothes, toys and a borrowed moses basket kicking about. I'd also like to assess my crafty stuff. We moved littlest into biggest's room so they are not lonely any more, freeing up some space for a crafty room of sorts. I have big plans! Most of which involve Ikea. I'm also loving Drops yarn too! Such great value! I'm looking forward to seeing your knitty efforts again- your wrap is so beautiful, and will be divine once you've found the perfect yarn. Have a wonderful sunny weekend xxx

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    1. Oh my word, isn't drops so nice! I think I shall be using it loads from now on. My local little shop has started selling lots of its ranges, which is good news for them, perhaps not so good news for my purse! x

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  6. very nice pictures !!! angie wants a nice Friday

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  7. Have you ever tried Lucy's (attic 24) no knead bread? It's fantastic, just takes a minute to mix together before you go to bed and then in the morning do the next bit and it's ready on no time! Well it does take overnight but you're sleeping for most of that so it doesn't count!

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    1. I have tried this recipe before, and again, with strange results! I don't know what I do wrong! I think it's all about house temperature too. I generally have a cool house and I think that may affect the rising. I'm still not going to give up though! x

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  8. Your photos make your house look like absolutely blissful. Such pretty pastel colours everywhere.

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  9. I don't know if this helps but a cup is 250ml, you could use a measuring jug (and basic maths for half cups etc). A standard teacup will work. It's a method based on volume rather than weight which is why converting results in some weird amounts.

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    1. Ah thank you for that! Really helpful! X

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  10. I'm SO glad my Bear's are happy with pastels in the house. Big Bear thinks they look cosy. Can't be bad then! x

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  11. What a lovely warm homely post. Your house always looks very pretty, I love the pink and white flowers and pink candles, you (and Baby Bear) have an excellent eye for it all. His picture is wonderful. Good luck with the sewing, it's something I'd like to do more of myself too. CJ xx

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    1. I think my sewing might just be as hot and miss as my knitting, but I'll give it a go! X

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  12. Such a busy bee Vanessa - but isn't it such a good feeling to be coming out of the winter into a bit of sunny Spring - it really makes you WANT to be busy !
    Have a lovely weekend,
    Kate xx

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    1. Oh sunlight and it warming up the house is blissful! X

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  13. hello,,
    your week sounds lovely to me.i love your home and the pip dishes,too. your bread looks wonderful and makes me hungry. i love my bread with butter and homemade jam. the wool have a fantastic colour......i like drops yarn,too.
    wish you a wonderful weekend,
    regina

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    1. Thank you Regina. Oh the bread was so good! I'm eating way too much of it! Have a lovely weekend too! X

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  14. Their homemade bread looks very good! enjoy these delicious breads! and tulips and all kitchen utensils as beautiful as always ... I love the drawing!!!!!! children are a joy! I hope you have a nice head setmsana!

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  15. Their homemade bread looks very good! enjoy these delicious breads! and tulips and all kitchen utensils as beautiful as always ... I love the drawing!!!!!! children are a joy! I hope you have a nice weekend! Kisses from Catalonia!

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    1. I love Baby Bear's drawing. I think I might even frame it. Precious pieces! Have a lovely weekend! X

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  16. I really love to read your posts although my English is not good. Your each posts are so warm and sincerity.
    And homemade bread looks delicious..
    Have an amazing weekend...
    Lots of love..

    Ayda

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    1. Awe thanks lovely. Such a compliment coming from you! I Love your posts! Xxx

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  17. Your posts really make my heart sing. So special, such lovely things and such a talent for making a home beautiful, amongst other things.
    I need to get my camera sorted and start blogging again.

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    1. Oh do start blogging again! I miss your posts! X

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  18. HOLA, COMO STAS... INTERESANTE TU BLOG, ME ENCANTO..! TE FELICITO. TUS TRABAJOS SON HERMOSO. DIOS BENDIGA TU CREATIVIDAD.. AHORA TE SIGO, VISITAME TAMBIÉN, SIEMPRE SERAS BIENVENIDA.. ANIMATE.. BESOS, ABRAZOS Y BENDICIONES.
    ZHOBEYD@....

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  19. Your home always makes me sigh a little, one of those gentle, I love that sighs......I know I don't see those piles of stuff, ironing, kitchen sink but what you do show us is so pretty. Happy decorating, happy sorting.....whatever you do, afterwards you will feel happier! :) xxx

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    1. Ha ha, believe me, there is plenty of 'stuff' everywhere! I've realised this week, that I just don't do 'tidy' very well! Even harder with teenage boys! Xxxx

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  20. OMG i'm fall in love with amazing peach color!
    You can check this bread recipe as well. This one no need to knead and very easy!

    https://translate.google.com.tr/translate?sl=tr&tl=en&js=y&prev=_t&hl=tr&ie=UTF-8&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.devletsah.com%2Fyogrulmayan-hizli-ekmek%2F&edit-text=&act=url

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    1. Oh thank you so much for the link! I'm willing to try every recipe I can! Xxx

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  21. im always looking at the lovely 'junk'...thinking what can i get rid of, but suddenly i realise how much i love things tucked away and then they seem like a new treasure again hehe~ sooo im useless too. its hard when you dont have anywhere to store things...i cannot wait to move to a bigger home with a loft, garage and extra rooms!!!!!! ...but id fill them all up im sure. i always enjoy your posts my lovely, your home is beautiful xxxx and little bears pic how sweet xxxx

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    1. You are my blogging soul sister! I've realised, it doesn't matter how big a place I had, I'd fill it just as much. We are magpies, but that can be a wonderful thing too! Xxxxxx

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  22. Beautiful post Vanessa as always. Loving your pink cover for the stool. I am just starting a serendipity blanket and am enjoying those floral motifs - so repetitive and relaxing. My scheme is inspired by Call the Midwife of all things!! Its my favourite hour of the week. If you look closely they use the most beautiful colours in the clothing, soft furnishings etc - all salmon pinks, olive and mint greens and soft primrose yellows - its absolutely dreamy. I also cannot stand ironing although your finished work looks so pretty. I hate it almost as much as cleaning - what a waste of time with 5 of us in the house - like shovelling snow while its still snowing!! How much more worthwhile to do something creative and nourishing like baking your lovely home made bread to feed your growing boys. Anyhow, hope you have a lovely weekend and can't wait to see your Drops colour choices for your wrap. xxx

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  23. Wow - you have been busy!! You made me laugh though about rewarding yourself at uni - I did the exact same thing - 500 words and then pause for a cuppa and biscuit! Nothing has changed for me either other than perhaps the frequency of my rewards have increased!!! Have a good weekend - your stool looks lush!! J9 x

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    1. I'm glad I'm not the only one who did that at uni, and also glad it doesn't change for others either!!!!!! Tee hee!!!!! X

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  24. Oh I'm so glad someone loathes it as much as I do! It took me absolutely ages to do and all I could think of was what I could have made in that time. I missed the first series of call the midwife so never watched it, but I love that era, and those colours together are really beautiful. Your blanket sounds like it will be utterly gorgeous. It's nice to work on something you are living making. Those flowers are lovely to make. The footstool cover is made with those puffs and I love the texture. Have a beautiful weekend! Xxxx

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  25. I always love your posts, your style is beautiful. Have a look at Rhonda's blog, Down to Earth it's got great bread making recipes and it's Australian, so no converting. xxBrenda

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    1. Thank you for your kind words regards my blog. I shall definitely be looking this up! X

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  26. I cannot seem to get enough of pink, aqua and mint. I find more and more mint sneaking it's way into my house. I don't remember inviting it in but there it is anyway. As for your bread problem, what if I sent you a set of American measuring cups and spoons? Then no converting necessary!

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    1. Awe thanks lovely Jen. I do have some. A beautiful set from Anthropologie that I don't ever use. Just for decoration really. I think I need to use them for American recipes, then maybe my recipes might actually work out! Ha ha! Gosh yes, mint, it's an amazing colour. I'm loving it with pinks and peachy tones! Xxx

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  27. I love your posts Your house looks so beautiful. I love to try UK recipes here in USA, but find the conversions a bit of a trial!:) I would send you some measuring cups and spoons if I had your address. All I can tell you is that in the USA a cup is 8 oz. Good luck and keep the lovely pictures coming. Thank you

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    1. Awe thank you for your kind thoughts Regina. I do have some American cups that I just never use. I think I need to for American recipes. You are right. Trying to convert what you know is difficult isn't it! I'll give it a go though and maybe my bread might turn out okay!!!!!! X

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  28. Lovely newsy post, I think I've had the week you thought you may have had, I'm afraid I haven't kept up, the house is a tip, I've done very little of what I set out to do, half a job, the culmination not realising it was my smallest boy's dress rehearsal for his concert next week which I still haven't brought his outfit in for.... I had one of those moments when you see the other kids getting out of cars wearing theirs and you get a sinking feeling!

    On the bread making front, I have a rapid make programme on my bread maker where you put warm ingredients into the bread maker and more or less of something ha, ha that's a good help hey?! On the American recipe front I wonder if the raising agent in their flour is different, I went through a stage where none of my cakes rose for a few months, I happened on the fact I was putting too much raising agent in it ( baking powder) and as soon as I lessened it, they came out fine again. Also check your yeast as it's quick to lose its effectiveness. Hope that May be some help,

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    1. Oh my word, how many times have I got out of the car and realised all the other kids were dressed up, or had a non uniform day! Way too many. I cannot keep up with it all, and am forever feeling a mother failure! Thankfully with boys, they seem to care less, so it's more of a major deal for me than it is for them! I'm always behind with the house. It's never ending and its frustration. I spend a whole day catching up, then by the next morning it seems like it's been left a whole week! Never mind. I tell myself life's too short to spend so much time trying to keep on top of it all. Life is for enjoying too......so a bit of crochet is always good!!!!!!! Xxx

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  29. Lovely stuff you have! ready for spring I can see. And the bread looks delicious!!

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  30. Oh, I so enjoy looking at your lovely things. I'm a bit of a magpie meself so I can sympathize. ^_^
    I've actually made that bread recipe & I LOVE it! So quick & easy. It didn't really rise very much for me either. So, maybe that's just the way it's s'posed to be. :) Bread baking is one of my favorite "snowed in" things to do. So snug. Best wishes for a good loaf! :D
    <3 Michelle

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    1. Ah that's interesting to know about the bread recipe. I'm itching to make another one, but I really can't eat any more bread! My waistline is groaning under the strain! x

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  31. Thank you Lien. Have a beautiful day xxxx

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  32. Oooh.. I keep scrolling back and forth trying to read but the pictures draw my attention back to them again.. How your pictures make me happy! :)

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  33. It sounds as though you have been very busy indeed, lovely to see the colour and flowers you have! xx

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    1. It was a lovely week Amy all in all! x

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  34. Lots of lovely things Vanessa, I can almost smell that bread. Your new Drops yarn is gorgeous, especially the bi-coloured ones and your foot stool is going to be lovely too, that chalk pink is such a great colour. I have some serious sorting out to do in my house but not sure where to start, I think it will have to be a deep breath and just go. Have a great weekend. Jxx

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    1. Sometimes it's all a bit overwhelming isn't it, and you spend so long just looking at what needs doing, so it never ends up being done! I need to dive right in this week too! x

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  35. I have absolutely loved popping by and reading your latest post hon. I am meant to be working, but it was such a tempting distraction! I laughed at the photo of your ironed clothes - that's just the sort of thing I want to do when I've finally talked myself into ironing. I loathe it. As always, all your gorgeous, colourful pics have lifted my spirits. Have a fab week.

    Leah

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    1. Awe thanks lovely Leah. Yes, silly that I'm so proud I got a huge bunch or ironing done. I needed to put it in there to remind myself years from now that I did actually do some! ha ha! Have a beautiful week my lovely x

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  36. Detest ironing: check! Combi of mint and pink: check! Ideas coming all at once: check!
    There's much that resonates with me in this post. ;-)
    And your collection of pictures is lovely as always... Thanks so much for sharing & have a lovely week,
    xh

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  37. I'm glad I'm not the only one Haafner! x

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  38. Hi there, thank you for your lovely colourful post! Thinking of your ironing, I have a new approach to much-hated jobs that I thought I'd share - do it by time instead. So rather than ironing everything in the basket and thinking you've failed if there's anything left, tell yourself you'll iron for half an hour (or whatever) then STOP and put it away, knowing you've achieved your goal! After all, there'll be more ironing tomorrow anyway. Try it - works for lots of jobs! Nicky S x

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    1. Hi there, That's a great way to approach it! I think I am going to have to look at it like that from now on! Have a super week! x

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  39. I think you earned your nice cuppa and the pastry!, what a busybee you have been I love the pictures you take, the colours always look nice and they are so clear, have a nice weekxx

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    1. Thank you so much! Have a beautiful week also x

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  40. Good day there Coco! I just joined your blog and already love your words but especially love all of the wonderful colors! Regarding the ottoman you're covering, I have a square ottoman that I would like to crochet over, but am not seasoned enough to know how to create a pattern to do so.. do you have any suggestions of links that could serve as a learning tool on how to accomplish this? Thank so much~ Brandie

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    1. Welcome stitchyhooker! Hammy, I'm trying to think of any links.

      http://homespunliving.blogspot.co.uk/2009/11/more-on-crocheted-footstool-cover.html might be a good one for you.

      http://atty-s.blogspot.nl/2014/08/crochet-stool-cover-photo-tutorial_4.html or that one

      https://www.pinterest.com/pin/286963807478007877/ or just some ideas here. Basic granny squares on the top then basic crochet around the sides. It might just be a case of trial and error in stitches to get the perfect fit. I hope some of these are useful to you!

      Have a super week! : )

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  41. OO Thanks so much! The last one is quite helpful indeed!

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  42. I love home made bread. I don't have a bread maker and I don't have much time so it's not very often that I make bread. Why not buy yourself some proper cup measures? It would mean you wouldn't need to do any conversions. Using cup measurements is the volume of the ingredient that is required rather than the weight. So a cup of butter doesn't weigh the same as a cup for flour, for example. I love all your crochet and yarn and your kitchen is really lovely.

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  43. Okay so I don't rightly know where to start ... This post was awesome! So many lovely things in one post! I completely agree with you on the ironing and dusting, I've given up trying to make bread and your home and crochet are heavenly! Emma x

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  44. Such delightful pictures to enjoy here, Vanessa! I love your crochet, yarn, flowers and home! And your son's drawing of the mantel is so beautiful :) Wishing you a wonderful weekend.
    Helen xox

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  45. I saw your bunny and remembered this http://www.lisaangel.co.uk/woodland-rabbit-night-light
    I have the piggy and he brightens my nights! I always look forward to your ta-dahs and cannot wait for your next crochet top. I gave mine away because it came up rather too big. At least I finshed it after I realised though! X

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