Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Getting that festive feeling!!

I'm beginning to feel really festive now... as I walk around town everyone is busy getting their Christmas shopping done which makes me think that I need to get myself organised and write a list of what I'm doing for each person. I bought some wrapping paper which is about as far as I've got with the whole thing!

I want to get all of the decorations up but Ray is putting off decorating the big tree for a while as he thinks Rose will pull it down. To be honest... he's probably right. She did pull the clothes airer onto herself a couple of hours ago... 
We're trying to come up with somewhere to put it that we can limit the access she has to it... anyone have any ideas as to how to keep a baby away from the tree?!

Even though I can't have the proper Christmas tree up yet, I've started decorating a few other areas of the house. How gorgeous are these colourful baubles from Paperchase!?

 I love them! :-)

I had a lovely surprise when I got back from playgroup with Rose this afternoon, my friend had sent me some belated-birthday gifts. She knows just How much I love Cath Kidston! It means so much that she bought me such lovely things because I know how short of money she is.

Mum sent Rose her own Advent calendar, she can't possibly eat all that chocolate so I Maayy have to help her out a little... what a shame! haha

My advent swap goodies arrived from Cupcake jojo, I'm so glad I entered into this swap. There were a few times though when I felt a little stressed by the pressure of having a deadline to finish all of my gifts! But now that I've seen all of the presents from Jo, I'm so excited knowing that I have a present to open up every day until Christmas..! :-)

Jo even included a present for Rose to open at Christmas! So, so kind of her because she didn't need to do and it is such a lovely thought. Thank you Jo xxx

Okay, I'm off to carry on with my current crochet project. I WILL get at least one present finished!


Tuesday, 29 November 2011

A couple of projects, new purchases and some major broodiness!

When my auntie came to visit for the day a few weeks ago she taught me how to do foundation patchwork and I absolutely love it.
I do want to learn all the other types of patchwork properly but foundation patchwork is really quick to do because you don't need to neatly cut out the pieces of fabric, so it provides you with some quick satisfaction!

I've mid-way through knitting a pair of hand warmers from a skein of yarn I got when I was back in Bridport after my birthday.

I wanted to knit quite a simple pattern because the yarn is so beautiful and the straight stocking stitch really shows off all of the lovely colours. I haven't worn my pale pink cable had warmers as I decided to give them away as a gift, so I'm looking forward to having these to keep my hands warm with all this chilly weather!

I bought some pure wool in cream and pink, I really want to learn how to knit in Fair Isle and I have this idea of knitting something for Rose with cream as the background colour and the pink for the pattern... another thing to add to the list of things to do!

Another purchase with some birthday money... this wool is So incredibly soft and I plan to knit some kind of cable hat for myself. Annoyingly the pattern I love calls for slightly more yardage than what I have, so I'll have to find another pattern that I love just as much.

One of my friends from a toddler group that Rose and I go to has had her baby. He's called Fabian and is Tiny! (Rose was never a 'tiny' baby!) He is such a content and calm baby, that he got me incredibly broody!
Rose was so intrigued by him and was so gentle when touching him, that it got me thinking how lovely it will be for Rose to have a brother or sister to play with one day.

Right, I've got the munchies so I'm off to go get myself a chocolate brownie. Yes... I've been baking again! This whole 'healthy-eating before Christmas' thing isn't really going to plan..!


Saturday, 26 November 2011

Macaroon mayhem!

This is my first attempt at making macaroons, they are mint chocolate flavour... I think I added a little too much green food colouring though as it just looks like they're filled with green slime! They're pretty wonky and the swirls aren't very neat as I had to make do with sandwich bags instead of a piping bag... all a bit messy I have to say!!

I loved watching The Great British Bake Off when it was on the TV and as a surprise Ray came home with this book the other day. I was completely over the moon with it as it's layed out so brilliantly inside and the photo's are gorgeous.

I decided to give macaroons a try as I've never eaten them before and wanted to see what the fuss was all about. To be honest... I'm not that impressed. I didn't have a clue what to expect but their just too sweet... I thought they'd be a bit crunchier like a cookie but the texture of them is completely different to that. Plus they were just so fiddly to make and I had to manage doing all of the different stages in between dealing with Rose, cooking us dinner and putting Rose to bed. I'm much more of a fan of simple cakes and things!

I finished wrapping all of my Advent swap gifts today, all a bit last minute... as usual for me!
I completely forgot to take pictures of everything before I wrapped it up and so I'll have to rely on my swap partner to take a picture once she's unwrapped everything.


Thursday, 24 November 2011

Coughs, colds and lots of birthday cake!

Rose and I headed back to Dorset the day after my birthday, we had such a lovely time.. we ended up staying for 5 nights! It was Really lovely to come back home again though, so nice to unpack.. getting the washing on and get back into the normal routine of being at home.

Whenever I go back, it's never completely relaxing because I always have a lot of people that I want to see before heading back to West Sussex. On one day, Rose and I made not one, two or three visits... but Four visits to see different family and friends. It was a really lovely day, but we were both pretttty tired after all that talking and catching-up!

I've had a truly awful week of bad eating though..! Ray baked me a birthday cake which was lovely, I baked some lemon angel fairy cakes, my Nan baked a birthday cake and my auntie Lettie bought a yummy chocolate caterpillar cake! This week I'm trying to make up for all that cake and I'm trying to resist all the goodies..!

The downside of our visit was that I came down with a stinking cold. I have asthma which meant that it went straight to my chest and I've had an awful cough since. I've been on antibiotics and thankfully it's almost gone away now... it really reminds me of when I last had a chest infection though, when I was a week away from my due date with Rose. I was so scared that I would still be feeling so poorly when I went into labour with her, I had to make 3 different appointments with my GP before they finally gave me the antibiotics which cleared it up. But anywayyy...

I had a great time when I went round to my aunties house one evening, she's had a Major sort out when my mum went to visit of all of her craft things and had put aside a pile of things for me to look through. I've now got a whole load of lovely fabric to work my way through, Loads of gorgeous quilting magazines, some books and lots of foundation patchwork patterns. :-) Thank you Lettie xXx

This is my Great-grandad Dooks, Rose's Great-great-grandad.
She really is a heavy lump now which makes it a bit more difficult for him to hold her, I was trying to give her her lunch and Dooks was sneakily giving her bits of his chocolate cake. No wonder she's a fussy eater, now that she's got a love for chocolate!

I've been busy knitting with some wool I got from the gorgeous new yarn shop that has opened up in Bridport. I'll have to take a picture tomorrow to show you though so that I have better light...


Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Chilly cycle ride!

The other evening I was reading a lovely blog (I cannot for the life of me remember who's blog this was but I left a comment so if you realise it's you I'm talking about Please remind me - I obviously still have a case of baby brain!)

But anywayy.. she was talking about a lovely walk she has been on with her son and dog by the canal and that got me thinking that we have our own canal really close by and we don't go down to enjoy it nearly often enough!

So the the next day (Sunday) we got all wrapped up and headed out on our bikes to go for a canal-side ride. It was pretty nippy but I made sure Rose was all toasty and we had the most wonderful time...

During the summer Rose was just a bit too small to go on the seat we got for my bike and so I haven't ridden with her many time but it's just so lovely to be poodling along with her in front of me, Ray was getting plenty of smiles (he was in front of me) so I know she was enjoying herself.

The only problem was that as soon as we got off our bikes to sit on a bench to enjoy the view and a cup of tea out of our flask, she fell fast asleep! She's sleeping in the photo, not feeding by the way..! This was a bit of a problem since I didn't want to wake her and risk her crying the whole way home and she obviously couldn't go in the bike seat asleep, so we ended up walk for 10 minutes with Rose sleeping on my shoulder and Ray walking with both bikes.

Thankfully (as she's SO heavy now!) she woke soon after and was quite happy so we got back on our bikes to head home.

(I admit...there was a pit-stop at Waitrose to get some mince-pies though!)

Right, I'm off to go have a Another flick through my beautiful birthday quilting books I got given by Ray today, suchhh gorgeous photo's inside! :-)


Saturday, 12 November 2011

Christmas market

We had a lovely day out today, Ray was in Scotland for the whole of last weekend so it was nice to do something altogether today.

There was a big Christmas market on just down the road from us which we thought would be nice to go to...and so did a lot of other people obviously, as we were queuing out on the main road for suchhh a long time!

When we finally got in it was lovely though, very busy but the whole place just had such a lovely festive feel to it. I'm now feeling very excited about Christmas... well, birthday first but I just love the whole build up to it.

Even the cold weather makes everything feel so much more festive.. I'm made all the more aware though that time is ticking by and I have a lot of family presents to get made!

We had a big milestone with Rose today, up until now she has been facing me in the pushchair as she seems to love smiling and babbling away to me. But on our way back from town this morning she was getting a bit cranky, so I took her out of the pushchair and turned the seat around. For the whole walk home she was good as gold... I think she's just got fed up of having to look at my boring old face everyday! I know this probably sounds so silly to a lot of people but it just feels sooo strange to have her facing away from me now, like she doesn't need my protection in the same way anymore. Soon she'll be leaving home!! haha

After walking around all of the stalls, we had a walk up the hill which was really lovely. Away from all the hustle and bustle. Everything looks so autumnal now, it won't be long until we're really into the cold winter...

Ray is growing a moustache for Movember, I'm not a big fan I have to say. It's at that really in between stage at the moment and looks a bit silly, very 70's! Goodness knows what his patients think when they walk in to see him!!

Even though there were loads of stalls at the market I didn't actually end up buying anything, well the stalls that I liked were the ones with all the handmade girly gifts but I just found myself thinking 'Well I could make that myself for a fraction of the price'! which got me thinking about maybe selling some thing's online. Being a stay-at-home Mum it would be so lovely to have some of my 'Own' money, even if it's a teensy tiny bit!

I know I'd have to have a good think about what I'd like to sell but I do have some time in the day when Rose is napping when I could be making things... I just don't have a clue where to start though!
Does anyone have any tips about where to start!? Where is the best place to sell? and also, where can you get things for nice packaging, like stickers, labels and things like that? Sorry to be a pain... but Any advice would be really appreciated!


Friday, 11 November 2011

A severe case of start-itis!

I've got a problem.

I just can't seem to focus on making one thing... or even just two or three things!

I have countless projects on the go and here is a sneaky peek at what I've been working on... these photo's don't include all of the things that I have been making for the Advent swap though, as obviously I don't want to ruin the surprise for Jo before she receives her parcel!

So to start, a pretty pink cardigan for Rose... It's knitted on a circular needle but I got stuck on one bit of the pattern, I then just got frustrated and moved onto the next thing!

I'm knitting myself a scarf/shawl that I came across on Ravelry, it's quite a popular pattern and is lovely to knit up. I had to frog my first attempt after I had got almost half way as I realised the two balls of yarn I had got through were a different dye-lot and I only noticed when I saw it in a different light. I could have carried on, but I know I wouldn't have been happy with it. So I've decided to knit a pair of handwarmers with that different ball of yarn as the slight colour difference wont be as noticeable. I won't be making that mistake again!!

This is Rose's quilt-in-the-making... maybe I'll manage to get it finished to give to her for her first Christmas, I hope so anyway! I reallllyyy love the fabric from the Jellyroll it's made from, I have enough fabric left over tat I could make something to match, maybe a wall hanging or something...hhmmm...

A minty green beret, I began crocheting this when we were on holiday but then it got a little forgotten about when we got home. I only remembered it when I was in the process of organising my craft shelves that are completely crammed full of things at the moment.

This is the beginning's of a baby blanket for Rose, again another pattern I found through Ravelry.

Well there you go, an insight into what I have got going at the moment. Of course there are many other forlorn projects on my shelves, I don't know why I can't just finish things before starting something else!

I really love making things but to be honest, I do find it all rather stressful... there are just So many things I want to make but I just don't have the time to do it all. That probably sounds completely stupid as there are much more important things to be worrying about, but I just wish I could organise my time better to get thing's done. I see other people on their blogs who are always producing lovely things and I know I shouldn't do but I get a little jealous that they have the patience to stick with whatever their making and actually finish it!


Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Recent going's on.

This post is just about some of what we've been getting up to lately...

I've been really lucky lately and have seen a lot of my family, first my Mum came to stay for a few nights, then my auntie came up for the day, Rose and I went to London for a day to visit my Cousin Josie and then on Saturday my Nan came to stay for a night. I'm also going back to Dorset for a few days next week as it's my birthday.. I can't wait.

Even though I used to live in London, I was a little worried about going up with Rose as I wasn't sure how easy it would be to get around with the buggy. But it was actually easy as I had Jose to help me with Rose on the underground escalators and as it was a Sunday, it was relatively quiet. The only problem with going up on a Sunday it that a lot of places aren't open. I was hoping to go here, but annoyingly it's not open on a Sunday. Next time, even though it's busier we'll have to go on a week day..

We've been spending a lot of time at the park lately, Rose is old enough now to really enjoy the swings. As soon as I start pushing her, a big smile appears on her face!

I've learnt how to sew a zip into something, it's not actually as hard as I thought it would be. It's only the Cath Kidston purse that comes with her SEW book, but it's just been lying on my craft shelf for ages because I was too scared to attempt to sew in the zip! Now I can sew zips, it opens up a lot of other thing's I'll be able to make. :-)

I love the little bit of cross-stitch that I did for the front of the purse. I really enjoy cross-stitch but it just takes sooo long! I'm just far too impatient to keep working on the same thing for such a long time...

Yesterday Rose and I went for lunch at Sarah's, I had Such a lovely time and it felt like we had known each other for years! That's the lovely thing about making friends through blogging, you get to know things about each another, so then when you do meet you know all the things that you have in common.

Okay, well Rose is still napping so I'm going to grab some lunch before we head out to go swimming this afternoon. I'm actually really looking forward to it, I haven't been swimming with her since we were on holiday but I plan to start taking her much more often.


Friday, 4 November 2011

Gorgeous giveaway!

I forgot to say....

There is a very sweet giveaway going on over at Sew sweet violet's blog.

Pop on over and enter if you want to be in with a chance of winning one of these adorable Christmas decorations... I've already entered, although I'm very unlucky and by doing this my chances are even lower! Silly me..! haha


My new favourite piece of furniture.

Here are some photo's to show you my make-over of my computer chair that we got for free from the tip last year, I never really realised how much I didn't like the chair until I saw a gorgeous chair on Pinterest that instantly fell in love with!

So the chair started out looking like this... to some people, I'm sure it's not a bad chair. But it was just a bit too old-fashioned  and grown-up looking for my liking...!

So I started choosing and cutting out squares of fabric from my stash. (It's a very small fabric stash but I have a few more bits and bobs after I received a lovely package in the post from Sarah and my mum and auntie bought me a couple things when they came to visit... I'm spoiled by them!)

I sewed together the patchwork squares, but I don't have a rotary cutter yet so I was having to do it as best as I could with scissors. So the squares don't completely line up properly but I don't mind as it's the first time I've tried patchwork like that on the machine and I think it adds to the whole shabby chic kind of look.

I had to buy myself a staple gun for this project and I had a Lot of fun with it..!

I don't think Ray was especially happy that our dining room table was taken over for a few day's... it was all TV dinners around here! First of all I tried painting in out the back in the Uutility room, but it's tiny in there and it was really difficult to turn around the chair to paint it as the worktop is really narrow. Also, when you add in the little person that keeps trying to stand up hanging onto your legs... it was a little cramped to say the least. So i moved out onto the table which was sooo much simpler as I could  really get into all the angles to paint it and Rose was much happier playing in the front room.

The brushes that I painted it with weren't very expensive at all though and you could really tell. I was trying to keep the costs down and didn't realise how important it is to have a really good brush. The paint went a bit drippy in places which is reallllyy annoying, but it's not too noticeable and as it's the first piece of furniture that I've ever painted, I'm quite happy with it..! 

The paint is a Duck-egg blue gloss and I didn't realise as first, but the colour goes perfectly with the different fabrics... Well I think so anyway! According to Ray, it's looks like it should be in a dolls house. Haha... he doesn't mind it, but he's definitely more of a 'plain wood furniture' kind of guy! Ahhh well.. he'll have to get used to it as I'm already thinking of what else I can paint! :-)

Sooo..... what do you think? Not bad for a first attempt anyway!