Friday, 27 May 2011

Feeling a touch shabby, surprise surprise!

I've definitely felt better.

But that's by the by. I am, however chuffed to bits that the fantabulous Heather (thank you, doll) has passed on the Kreative Blogger award to me and equally as chuffed that two of the blogs she also passed the award on to have, in turn, sent it back my way. So I have been given this award 3 times in the last 24 hours. I find that really wonderful and crackers! So THANK YOU thank you THANK YOU to Victoria of Yarn Round Hook and Jacquie of Bunny Mummy, two ladies blogs I have long admired.

Right so, this is what I have to do, reveal 10 facts about myself and pass the award on.

1. I have a hangover. It reminds me of morning sickness. The dragging fatigue and the delicate tummy and giddiness. It's the one thing that puts me off having more children. Which would be a relief for Mr C, he's not said "No more", not categorically but I get the impression it's not going to happen. And I feel sad about that, but on the plus side no morning sickness again. So that's good.

2. I wanted to call Mini, Django. I think it's a fab name but everyone laughed and thought I was joking.

3. I once burnt Margaret Thatcher with a hot plate when waitressing aged 16.

4. I tell my boys that the sweets they see in the shops are not for us as they are ornaments. I don't think I'm going to get away with that for much longer.

5. Up until 2 hours ago my legs were incredibly hairy. Tomorrow I will wear a skirt.

6. Big Cuckoo gets his words wrong sometimes and I don't correct him because I like his version better. The latest one I'm loving is Bar-gee-coo. That's BBQ to me and you.

7. I have a ferocious, vicious temper. I don't flare up very often but when I do it is terrible.

8. I'm nervous of Big's head mistress.

9. I used to fly for Virgin and would request flights to New York every month. I love it there. I once had a bagel at 5am peering through a window at Tiffany's just to be a little Audreyish. Shame I wasn't wearing Givenchy....

10. My NY resolutions aren't going very well. I'm not doing well in the glamour stakes. As I sit here I have panda eyes and ragged nails and I'm wearing a truly dreadful dressing gown (I love it though). At least my legs are now smooth!

I pass this on to:

Have a great bank holiday weekend folks...see you after half term I expect.


Ah, it appears I didn't get away with it then...

...last night we had some friends over for supper and they brought a bottle prosecco with them. Lovely, except I had two glasses of the stuff (laced with amaretto) plus a big glass of wine and I went to bed very late and very tipsy having blogged. Uh-Oh. Yes, the blogging equivalent of drunken texting ex boyfriends (which I don't do) and evidently even though I pulled the post, turned it back into a draft, some of my bloddies saw it when it was live and some can see it in their google reader whatsit still. So by request here it is in all it's embarrassing glory typo's, swearing and all. I'm not sure this is a wise move but hell, I need teaching a lesson! So here goes...

Oh Pants

Pantsarama. I realise now that I took really very bad poor rubbish photographs of a little project I did a few weeks ago for my God daughter and her sister. Remember this photo

Tht was a pic of the mess i made during the creative process of making gifts for these gorgeous girls.

I don't remmber why but I call Taya Lady teapot and Brooke, Lady Buttercup. It was Taya's birthday the other day so I made a Free motion embroidery picture for her.

I was rather pleased with it as it was my first attempt. I got inspoired by some of the stuff Claire does and thought I'd have a go myslef.

well, (said in a Catherine tAte style voice) one thing led to another and I made these placemats too

"One more mouthful...then it's pudding"

"in your mouth dear...not on your head!"

The girls are just like my boys in that they are tricky eaters and I thought they maybe might like to try to keep the food on thier plates rather than all over the kitchn if they had nice placemats. Yes I am delusional......and I'll let you in to a secret. i am typing this at 11.51pm, on the loo, quite tiddly!!!! Woops sorry!!! First time I've drank in over a year. Only had 3 galsses and I'm sh*t FACED!!!!! O EXCUSE THE TYPOS BUT I CAN'T BE BOTHERED, IT'S ALL I CAN DO TO GET THE LINKS RIGHT.  oH BUGGER GOT HTE CAPS LOCK ON. Don't worry there are two other sober adults in the house over night so the children will be fine. I am responsible in a way. i'd not ever have had any wine if i were home alone.  i shouldn't be blogging though, there should be a brethelizer on this laptop. i'll be mortified in the morning but I have the devil in me and really feel the diesire to blog this MINUTE!

While I think of it doea anyone know how I can get those "corners" on my photot's? I wan them to look like the photo albums my Mum made in the 70's with those funny corners that held the photo's in place. Would Picnik be able to do that? (edit: not the roundy corners, the little stickers that you slide the corners of a photo into to hold it in place in an album. I would like that effect on the four corners of my photo's. Am I still explaining that badly?)

I'm excited because I have am award from The Little Tin Bird i'll do what I should with it tomorrow. I love Heather, she is ace.

Off I go to sleep it off 

Yes so there is my shameful drunken post. Horrors. And this morning I see that the award Heather passed on to others has come back round to me but I think they might want to think twice about giving me it now!!!!

Back later if I get a second wind, I am feeling very shabby right now, so tired and I still have children to feed, bathe and fling into bed. Serves me right!

Monday, 23 May 2011

The Nemesis

In the beginning

It all started with an order of yarn in November...which arrived in February! Let's not dwell on that. The yarn arrived and I was hugely pregnant and hugely delusional as I thought I'd get the blanket made before the baby arrived. Originally it was intended for the said baby but when I saw the yarn I realised it wouldn't work with his nursery. "Hurrah" I secretly thought, a blanket all for me. Wah ha ha haaaaa I cackled as I wound the balls into, well, round pretty balls, just so I could take some pleasing blog pics. Ah come on, admit it, I'm not the only one! Own up, who else does this sort of thing, not necessarily with wool but other stuff?

I quickly abandoned the Circle Blanket as a) I'd not offset the circles in a brick laying fashion so it was too gappy and b) that damn yarn was hideous to hook. AbSoLuTeLy AwFuL. Cue quick rethink and readjustment of delusional mindset. This needed to be a quick blanket, an easy blanket, one I could do while I breast fed my baby. So I switched to the Vintage Stripe which would be sooooo easy and quick. Only, just like the breast feeding, it didn't go to plan.

I found the yarn too tricky, too splitty, too slow and I managed just 8 rows before Mini arrived.

I bagged it up for a while and felt I may have to give it away. I felt irrationally cross about it. All that waiting for the yarn, all that excitement and anticipation that only new yarn and a new project can incite. Grrrrrrrrrrrrr!

The bag containing the "Bloody Blanket" sat stuffed down the side of the sofa mocking me for weeks until my stubborn streak kicked in. Oh it kicked in a treat. The "Bloody Blanket" got re named "The Nemesis" and I took it everywhere. It was my nemesis to conquer. I figure it's quite a good idea to bestow the title of nemesis on to something one has a chance of beating. It's good for the soul to win a battle now and again. Even if that battle is in your own head.

The bag was removed from the side of the sofa and I took it everywhere with me. A few stitches completed here, a row there, then I ran out of pale pink yarn half way through a row ....................... ................... it grew slowly but surely...............

...Till one day it was FINISHED!!!!!!!!



...and I L♥VE it. 

I do! It's gorgeous. It's drapey and soft and pretty and warm. It even smells really really lovely and I've no idea why.

I learnt something along the way, the Rico Creative Cotton was only hard to hook with because I'd rolled it into balls. If I'd started with the end that was originally on the outside then it wouldn't have split so badly. Yes it would still have dragged but that was eased by using a smaller hook and making my tension slacker (bad grammar? ). Of course I only found this out when I had to order more of the pale pink yarn. I think I will buy Rico again but I'd not do a big project with it. The colours are too scrummy to get all uppity and start declaring an embargo.

The End.

Sunday, 22 May 2011

Weekly round up

I think I might start doing a weekly round up on a Sunday evening so that I can pop in here all those little bits and bats that I photograph through out the week that wouldn't be much of a stand alone post nor would they fit in anywhere else very neatly. I'm sure you know what I mean. The Miscellany of Life.

Remember the other day I showed you a sneaky peek of some bobbletastic crochet? Bobbles in a different colour no less! They took me a while to fathom out but now I know how to do them they are soooo easy and my mental To Make list has doubled as a result. I'm almost hoping my poor memory will quickly forget some of the things I am hoping to get around to.

To appreciate what that bit of crochet is, you need to pretend the glass is a take out paper coffee cup. I have a bit of an adoration for Starbucks skinny lattes and I also like to use as little packaging as poss so I feel bad using the cup sleeves (even though I do recycle them). This will go in my handbag for future use. It would be a better sleeve without the bobbles, easier to hold so I'll make it different next time. I could make several so I can experiment with different stitches.....there goes my To Make list growing again.

It was Mr C's secretary/PA's birthday last Wednesday. I realised a little too late to do anything brilliant so I hastily made some chocolate and vanilla cupcakes. Not my finest work but she loved them and I enjoyed making them which is what it's all about. It was too late and too dark to get decent pics. 

There's been more stripes and flower wearing. I L♥VE this look, very easy to fling on and yet it looks like I've taken pride in my appearance and since the days of being well groomed are over it's lovely to "look" as though I haven't let standards slip. I used to pluck my eyebrows every morning, now my whole forehead is furry.

Ignore the smeary finger prints on the glass.
Photo taken through the pane. What a messy kitchen!

Maybe if I didn't spend five minutes snapping away at the 530am morning sun I'd have neat eyebrows but my priorities have shifted. Far more important to revel in the beauty of the day than a beauty regime, at least that's what I'm trying to convince you all!
I had a little perusal around the garden and brought a few blooms in to cheer the place up. I've never put chives in a jar before and I probably wont again as they smelt a little oniony, my tummy grumbled a lot while they were perfuming the air. It smelt like I was permanently cooking a stew.

One night this week I got all 3 (yes!) boys to bed by 7pm and because we'd eaten super early for once I had time to go and light my special candle and enjoy a few moments crocheting on the sofa to the sound of silence. It was sheer luxury. The smell and the silence, sigh. Heavenly. Check out the vase of flowers. Gorgeous hey? If I told they were real you'd believe me, right? If I said they were very expensive fakes you'd still believe me, yes? If I told you they were less than 2 quid a stem from Ikea you'd think I was fibbing. But they are indeed cheapy flowers from Ikea. I trimmed the stems (needed wire cutters) and plonked them in a vase. They look great even though I say so myself, all for less than a tenner. Magic.

cornish blue, practical in more ways than one
My WiP's aren't all crochet you know, hop over to Rachel's to see what I'm up to. This is the project I am currently carting around so that I can fill those minutes waiting at the doctors or while the boys swim or the school to open the gate...

The biggun's have been running wild 'Swallows and Amazons' style in the garden. I lost Big Cuckoo the other day, he was in the paddock on top of the grass heap....having a pee, as you do!

One to show his mates!

Mini is 12 weeks old now. How crackers is that! It seems only days ago that the photo below was taken when he was 48 hours old.

Did anyone else see this?

It was visible from the M25 around Clacket Lane services (I think) on Easter weekend. You don't often see one of these...Blimpy's? What are they called? I'd love to go in one. I'd like to go inside the balloon bit. Aren't they filled with helium? Imagine the squeaky voice, hilarious. What about a party in there! I'd love that...unless it's dangerous...hmmmmm

You may wonder why I have Nelly Moser clematis in a drinking glass.
Here's why:

Picked you some flowers Mummy!
On Friday I had a joyous mid part of the day as I got to have lunch with one of My Girls!!!!

wearing a cherry tree frock, of course!

It was so lovely to spend time with Gem, she is such a fab girl, I always feel like a million dollars when I'm with her. She is one of those buoyant types who is full of energy and dishes out compliments freely when you're with her. She's a mad un. She once persuaded a policeman to give her and a friend a full on police escort to a Bonjovi concert. Yeah, she's like that.  Gem has a lovely blog that I know some of you visit, there's more about our day here.

And finally, a FO!!!! 

I gave it to my Mum, she loves it. She's put it on her watering can teapot! By that I mean she waters her plants with a teapot. Well, why not!?

I have a trillion posts in draft form that I may be back soon...but then again I have a big ole To Make list going on, we'll see. Until then keep well.


Each year since Big Cuckoo was born we have taken photo's in the bluebells right next to our home.
It's one of our our special little family traditions now.


Friday, 20 May 2011

Padded notice board/pinboard tutorial

I didn't find much by way of picture tutorials when I took a cursory glance through a google search.  I'm sure there are millions of tutorials out there in blogland but google didn't throw one up that I wanted to follow, so I winged it. I had a fair idea of what I needed to do as I'd watched one of my Swine girls make one last year.

Supplies needed are as follows:

Staple gun and staples
iron and ironing board
Plywood or chip board cut to the size you want the notice board to be. Don't use MDF the staples and tacks wont go in.
Upholstery tacks
Hanging hook things to thread the string through (someone tell me what they are called so I can edit this please!)
Picture hook

Make sure you have enough wadding and two bits of fabric, one to cover the front so it needs to be 3 inches larger than the board all around and one for the back of the board allowing a couple of inches extra all around. You'll need plenty of ribbon, it's deceptive how much you'll use.

Cut the wadding to fit the board.

My wadding was a funny shape as it was left over from another project so I did a bit of jigsawing.

Iron your fabric and lay it wrong side up on a hard surface. Lay the wadding centrally on top and them pop the board on top of the lot.

Pull the fabric up from one side over the back of the board and put two or three staples along the middle section. then pull taught and staple the opposite side. repeat with the two remaining sides.

It'll look like this:

To make neat corners fold the pointy corner in towards the opposite corner and staple it down.

Then fold the side over, pulling it taught and staple...

... repeat with the other side

 And Viola! Nice neat corner. Do the remaining three corners.

Now get your ribbon and pin it on in an arrangement that suits you. I should have used more visible pins for this picture.

Flip the board over and staple the ribbons to the back, don't pull too tightly, just snug enough so that they aren't floppy and loose. Remove the pins from the front.

Place the tacks on the areas where the ribbons cross and push them in so they start to go through the fabric, this stops them slipping when you hammer them in. A piece of card placed between the tack and the hammer protects the top of the tack from being damaged when you whack it. You shouldn't have to bang very hard for them to go though the fabric and wadding and into the board.

Take the piece of fabric for the back and lay it on top of the back of the board, fold over the surplus so that you'll have a neat edge and but enough fabric to cover up all the staples you used. You can either staple this to the board or glue the fabric down (or not bother with it at all as it won't show when hung on a wall)

Mark on the back where you want to place the hangy (help) things, I banged a nail in a little to make some pilot holes to screw them into.

Shove the end of a fine screwdriver in to help you tighten them if, like me, you've no pliers and weak fingers.

Tie the string through the hangy things (!)

Oh lookie! My picture hook has a little heart on it. Seems a shame to hide it with the notice board.

You're done! Easy hey? Really didn't need a tute did ya?!

If anyone follows this and has any helpful additional tips (or spots any typo's) let me know and I'll edit this and link to you. Also if anyone does one of these and would like me to list it here with a link then let me know.  I might even do one of those linky party whatsit's I've seen around blogland. Oooooh get me!!!