Finding the time to fit in 20 minutes of crafting every day has been a piece of cake so far. Granted, it's only been 4 days, but if anything, it has proved to me that there is no excuse - there is ALWAYS time for crafting! As expected, the knitting has been fitting in very well, and the sock is progressing nicely.
Hopefully, I shall get sock no 1 finished in a day or two and then be able to crack on with the next one.
There has also been some sewing. I finished up a project for the 7 Days swap which, of course, I can't show you yet, but here's a sneak peak;
Yesterday and this morning I worked some more on the turquoise cushion cover;
This time I quilted it onto a piece of sew-in interfacing, rather than fleece, which seems to have worked quite well. I'm going to make a similar piece for the back, but with pink fabrics. As the cushion will be going on my chair, then I think I should be able to have pink if I want it, don't you?
I've been a bit naughty and bought some more books from Amazon, which I will do a little show and tell post on soon, but I've been thinking that maybe I might make February a No Fabric or Books month - those are my biggest weaknesses and, as soon as the credit card statement comes in each month (which I do pay off in full, to be fair) I do tend to find myself thinking "Oh goody, I can go and order more stuff now!". So, in my bid to be more mindful of my spending, I'm going to ban myself from buying those things next month. Anyone care to join me? (Or take bets on how long I'll last perhaps?!)
I've just joined this blog club which is being run by Fiona at Marmalade Rose. Basically, it's a New Years resolution to do 20 minutes of craft every day, and I thought that sounded like a good way to keep the creative juices flowing! At the moment, while I have a pair of socks on the go, it shouldn't be a problem at all, but on other days when I don't have a current project, I hope it'll spur me into to doing something, even if it's just a teeny bit of embroidery. If you want to join in then pop over to her blog and take a look - there are quite a lot of members already - and it's a great way to discover some new blogs too!
Over the weekend I also received a couple of awards:-
I was nominated for the Sunshine award by Jenny of Jennyflower and also Julia of Hand Knitted Things, and the Sweet Friends award by Pink Cat, Custard & Cake. Thank you very much ladies! For the sweet friends award I'm supposed to list 10 things that make me happy, so here goes:
First, the obvious ones...
Pretty fabric and yarn
My bloggy friends
And now, 5 less obvious ones...* The fact that my kids adore each other so much. There are 5 years between them and numerous people warned us about having such a big gap, saying things like "they won't play together", "you won't be able to do anything as a family" etc etc. Well, it was exactly the gap we wanted and we never viewed it as a problem and consequently it never has been - and the sight of my two boys snuggled up together on the sofa watching tv just melts my heart.
* Finding a decent pair of jeans that fits! I know this is a common problem for many, but I have always had problems with trousers - I have the classic English pear shape and Next is about the only shop where I can find trousers that fit - and I managed to get a new pair of jeans AND another pair of casual trousers at the weekend - that made me very happy!
* Licking the bowl. Not just for children, it has to be one of my favourite things about baking! I sometimes wonder why we bother cooking the stuff at all - some mixtures definitely taste better raw - or is that just me?!
* Getting mail. I love getting stuff in the post (as long as it's not a bill of course!) Granted, it's quite often stuff I've had to pay for, but it still feel like a little bit of Christmas (or birthday) opening something new and seeing what's inside. It doesn't have to be a parcel either. As a teenager I had a load of penfriends and would love getting letters from them. I am still in touch with one of them but we tend to communicate by email now. I must start writing actual letters to her again...
* And finally, um... oh shoot, I can't think of anything witty to finish on, can I just say chocolate again?!
Now, I know I'm supposed to pass these awards on, but I'm pretty crap at stuff like that and the sunshine award has been all over blogland already so I'll just cheat and say, if you want to join in with your 10 happy things then please consider yourself awarded!
Have a great week everyone!
Last night as I was blog-hopping, I came across this post by Mary Poppins. Mary wanted to make a little curtain to cover the washing machine in her kitchen and was asking if people would like to send her a square of fabric. She explained that, while she did indeed have fabric of her own, she specifically wanted to make this project with fabric donated by other people, so that she would be reminded of all her bloggy friends every time she saw it. Her request was so heart-felt that I immediately left her a comment offering her a square, as did about 30 other people! I mentioned that this was such a lovely idea, wouldn't it be wonderful if this spread around blogland? I have numerous items in my home that remind me of my blog friends - swap gifts or giveaways - that I love, but how lovely would it be to be able to make something entirely of gifted materials that would remind you of all your blog friends? Unlike a swap or a quilting bee, with this idea there is no organiser, no sign-up, no deadlines, no partners allocated and no obligation - it would be entirely up to the individual who they would send a piece of fabric to, just as it would be up to them to decide when, or indeed if, they were to request squares. And they could be made into anything at all - a quilt or a cushion, a bag or a string of bunting. Something pretty to remind them how wonderful this little bloggiverse is. A bit like a random act of kindness perhaps? I'm not asking for any squares, not yet anyway ;) but I just had to blog about this as it is such a simple but sweet idea. It could be the start of something wonderful... What do you think?
Aside from that, here's what has been occupying me today...
A little sewing ( for another new cushion cover)
and a little knitting - I'm loving the stripey effect!
Have a great weekend!
Yesterday another parcel arrived in the mail. At first, I was momentarily stumped as to who it was from as I didn't recognise the return address, and I hadn't ordered anything but, as soon as I opened it and saw the pink feather card I remembered what it was!
The lovely Alex from Pink Feather Paradise had very kindly agreed to make me a dreamcatcher for Joe, after I had admired one she made for her son and asked if she would consider making one for me. Because I had sent her some yarn last year, didn't want anything in return, and she also included a couple of little goodies for me too.
I cannot even begin to fathom out how she made it, it is so intricate, but absolutely beautiful. I love it, and more importantly, Joe loves it too. I wrapped it back up for him to open when he got in from school yesterday and he announced "Cool!" when he saw it - high praise indeed! We immediately had to then go and hang it up in his bedroom. Thank you so much Alex, you made our day!
This is my chair in our living room. I spend quite a lot of time here, especially in these colder months. As you can see, I have marked my territory made it all cosy with a quilt over the back and some pretty cushions - you might recognise the one using the Amy Butler Love fabrics that I started several months ago. I eventually got round to putting a back on it yesterday and it made me so happy to see it finally in my little spot. My chair is in the perfect position - right next to the radiator - essential for a chilly mortal like me! and, if you swing round to the left a little...
...you will see that I have my knitting bag down on the floor beside me and, on the coffee table, a little fabric storage basket holding my dpns and whatever my current sock knitting project might be. And there will be a new one started very soon, as this arrived on my doorstep this morning...
Yes, I was very naughty and did a spot of internet shopping over the weekend. However, I do feel that sock yarn is very much a necessity and not a luxury - my handknitted socks have been absolutely invaluable during this extra chilly spell! This beautiful yarn (purchased from here) is called Tempest and has the most gorgeous shades of turquoises and purples, quite stunning.
I cannot wait to see how it knits up.
Something else arrived yesterday as a result of my little shopping spree.
My first rotary cutting set. I'm a bit scared of it - does this mean I'm a proper quilter now?
That's kind of how I'm feeling this morning. The kids did indeed go back to school on Monday but I'm finding it hard to get back into the rhythm of things. There is still plenty of snow on the ground but now it's turning into grubby, yucky slushy stuff, so it doesn't even look nice anymore. I woke up this morning feeling like I'm coming down with a cold and, to top it all, it was pouring with rain so, yeah, a little bit blah today. But I am pushing on and trying to get on with stuff and even been able to cross some things off my New Year's to-do list.
One of the first things on my list was to make some bags for my friend. She had asked if I would make a couple of drawstring bags for her girlies, and sent me the fabric and cord. Now, believe it or not, but I have not actually had much experience with making drawstring bags, so I wanted to be sure I did a good job and so started looking for a good pattern. I eventually went with this one..
It's the Simple Leather Handled Shoulder Bag from Amy Butler's In Stitches book, and it came together extremely easily. I added a little pocket inside and little tabs at the bottom corners to thread the cord through, so that the bags could be worn back-pack style. This project has actually killed two birds with one stone, as another thing I'd added to my list of goals for the year was to make more projects from my craft books. I love craft books - I've got quite a collection now and love to look at all the inspiring pictures, but have very rarely ever actually got round to making any of the projects. In fact, I could probably count them on the fingers of one hand! So this year I plan to change that and actually use these books - the added bonus being that then I won't feel so guilty if I buy some more!
Next thing on today's to-do list is to clear the desk. It's not looking good...
Yes, we still have lots of snow, although it seems to be melting a bit now. I have everything crossed that the kids will be able to go back to school tomorrow - we all really need to get away from each other and have a change of scenery! I'm feeling very cold and fed up but have been trying to keep busy with a little handstitching and some more knitting. Something that made me smile today was the fabulous giveaway that Maxine of Tiny White Daisies is holding for her first Bloggiversary.
She is generously offering two prizes - a fabulous bundle of yarny goodness and a pile of gorgeous Japanese fat quarters. So if you fancy a chance of winning, pop on over to say "hi", and tell her I sent you!
Stay warm everyone!
What's a girl to do on a cold, snowy day, when the kids are off school again and she can't get to the sewing machine?
Why, she bakes, of course!
The best cookies in the world (IMHO), recipe courtesy of Lucy at Attic 24
And then, whilst sitting and enjoying a nice cup of tea and said cookies, still warm from the oven, she knits.
First project of 2010 completed! (These were actually started way back in October - I finished one sock but then Christmas got in the way and I didn't start the second until a couple of weeks ago.)
Hope you're all staying safe and warm.
Yesterday Peter went back to work after his Christmas break and, this morning, William went back to school. So it's just me and Joe here today. He starts back at school tomorrow, although more snow is forecast and I have visions of school being closed again! We all need to get back into the routine - Joe especially, I think (he's become rather obsessed with his Wii games, his eyes will turn square any minute!) although I will not enjoy having to get up early again, but it will be great to have some time to myself. It always takes me a while to get back into gear after the holidays - that feeling that I should be getting the house in order before I can allow myself to start doing fun stuff like sewing! But I am itching to get the sewing machine out again. After taking the Christmas decorations down, I am really missing my paper chains! They looked so pretty, I'd have happily kept them up all year, but they were definitely Christmas themed so down they came and I have actually stored them away safely in a basket so that I can use them again next year. But our hallway, in particular, is looking very bare so I've decided that some bunting might be in order to cheer it up again. Can I jump that to the top of my to-do list? I also just received in the mail some fabric I had ordered before Christmas, which is intended for William's new quilt:-
Five yards of Kona cotton in varying shades of blue. Lovely. I've got a couple of possible pattern ideas in mind, both quite simple, modern designs, so just need Will to choose his favourite. But there are a few things on the list that I really should tackle first, so this will have to wait a little longer too.