Monday, 30 January 2012

Plastic Fantastic

A strange thing this to be stopping by so early in the week. I managed a quick half hour at home before the sun went to bed and so I took a photo or two. 

Thankyou for all your understanding comments about the need for balance in our lives. Earning just enough in my day job to keep us safe and happy suits me just fine. In celebration of the extra making time I'll be freeing up I've booked a pitch at two markets today. One a new one in Norwich and the other my favourite of all for Little Vintage Lover in Heydon.

I did manage a quick rummage at Judy's Vintage Fair yesterday, but I wasn't that impressed to be honest. I brought home a few knick knacks that screamed out to me though. A rattly dolly and tin pram which make me very happy every time I look at them.


There were a couple of bunnies for the Bun's. The glowing cottage was found in a new shop we discovered on Saturday full of daft things I'll be going back for.

 
Then there's the mixture of pretty and nasty. The drunken old man masks look brilliant on, creepy definately, but happy making aswell. My parents came to eat with us later on Sunday and my dad gave the mask a whirl. The evening ended in a game of rummy which the Bun's have just learnt and munching the last of the christmas chocs. The end of a perfect weekend.


  
We managed to find the right sort of cosiness tonight too as it's suddenly gone arctic here. We've recently re-discovered the joys of squirty cream. The Bun's think it's the best thing ever at the moment. 


After school we snuggled by the woodburner playing cards yet again and tucking into joyful mugs of hot chocolate. A good start to the week I think.

Sunday, 29 January 2012

Decisions, decisions ...

Today has been a mad and wonderful day. We got up ridiculously early as Miss Rosey had a big day ahead. Once she was done we went for a lovely lunch which is a rare old thing, followed by a proper mooch around favourite shops and the fleamarket.


Then we had a dash home to get to the Observatory in our village who were hosting a Stargazing evening. We had freezing toes by the end of it, but we've seen Jupiter's four moons, checked that the moon is still there and learnt that Venus is the planet just below the moon (from here anyways). I also know now that the moon is actually black, it's just white from the light bouncing off it. So there you go in case you didn't know that either.



Apart from starting a new cardigan this week, from some aran I've had for years, I've done nothing else but work and keep life ticking over. As a good luck present for Miss Rosey I did finish up Podge on Friday night. She asked for him for christmas with exact instructions about shape and colours. A month later he was finally born and placed by her bed with a card.


Tommorow being Sunday we all have lots we want to squash into one day, but one day just isn't long enough. Being lazy, wearing jammies all day and knitting sounds good, Miss Rosey wants me to cook a veggie roast at lunch and bake cakes, Little Bun wants a long walk by the sea and then there's also a new vintage fair in town tommorow that might be worth a quick whizz round. Luckily Mr Bun will just go with whatever we choose, but I bet he'll fancy the staying in jammies option after the busy week he's had.


There are a few new things I collected this week to play with. Then there's the ton of yarny projects to hide in a corner with so I might just get up early and stretch the most I can out of tommorow.


I also need to do some searching in our garage for a frame for this lovely Eileen Soper poster. I fell in love with it when I spied it in Milly and Dottie's Emporium and knew Little Bun our sheep adorer would love it too.


Now I've been doing some more thinking and re-thinking over the last week. I decided doing this old teaching lark for four days just wasn't working with everything else. It doesn't leave me any time in my head for creative thoughts. These thoughts are the things that lead to new ideas and plans which then grow into stuff. At the moment I'm dealing with the days paperwork and then planning the next days lessons at 10 o'clock once everything else is done and dusted. No time left for thoughts and actually doing. So I acted this week, I was honest about my needs and hey presto a replacement was been found for the day I'm struggling with. It's all about balance really isn't it.

Saturday, 21 January 2012

Yearning for the Right Yarn

Friday - Oh happy day. No work, so no mad last minute rushing around feeding endless animals before we leave the house. Being able to walk into the playground with the remains of yesterdays make-up on in true slob I'm having the day off mode. Coming home to peace. A house all to myself and no talking needing to be done for a whole day.


Different colour combinations have entertained my mind this week. All saved up waiting for me to play with them today. After work last night I popped to the yarn shop to get the blue shades that I'd been thinking of. For crochet blankets and what nots I've finally found the perfect yarn for me. It's taken a lot of searching as I'm very particular about what I'm after.

 

I wanted a yarn that wasn't as pricey as my favourite choice of Debbie Bliss which I save for posher projects. Cheaper stuff tends to be an acyrlic mix and then it's either shiny or sticky and itchy to handle. I wanted soft and matt. I also wanted a great selection of colours as I get really annoyed when I find a yarn I like, but the choice of colours  is really limited. Ideally the yarn I was looking for wouldn't be splitty which slows my hooking up too much. 

 

Well, after a few years looking and trying out different yarns I finally found the one last year. So if you're as fussy as me then you'll probably like Sirdar Snuggly DK for your hooky projects too. I keep on finding more and more colours to play with which means there's a store of projects filed in my head. The Round and Round Blanket was the first thing I tried out with this yarn. I finished it this week so on to a new hooky thing for me.


Instead of pretty colours I wanted something sharper and brighter. Mainly it came from wanting to use the bright blue I'd thought about this week. I think of colour combinations a lot. It just makes me happy.

I think I might have a bit more staying power with this blanket as the colours are really working for me. I'm just decided on whether to go for all blue surrounds or to mix it up with groups of four edged in blue and red. I'll have to do a bit more and see how I feel.


After a couple of hours hooking granny squares, I ran up some zingy bright mini bunting flags too. I fancy a line of these along a cupboard somewhere.

 

I've been made to promise I'll make pancakes for breakfast tommorow, but after that I think I might hide with my hook for a wee while. Just to see how that colour combination is coming along.

Sunday, 15 January 2012

Riding on a See - Saw

I'm having a big think about how I'm going to balance and juggle all the things I want to do and have to do. How to teach four days a week, keep designing and selling as Bobo Bun, enjoy family life and do all the general dogsbody PA stuff I seem to do for my lot. There are things I've realised I'll have to drop for a bit is we're all going to keep sane. So I'm trying to think of new ways of doing stuff so I only have to chuck a few.


All of this thinking is making it hard for me to settle on anything at the moment. All week I've been starting one thing and then hopping on to another. I'm all over the place waiting for my new routines to start and trying to get stuff sorted as I won't be around to do it next week.

I've got two blankets on the go, so madly I've started another one inspired by a sighting on Jane's blog.

On Friday, after another session with the dentist, I made myself finish off the green barkcloth cushion that I'd started chopping up on Monday. That made me feel better.


I also get bored really quickly and excited by new ideas, materials and yarns. With my head in a spin, ideas flicking around and all sorts of started and not finished stuff around here I'm trying to get a bit of focus.
Although I have another couple of new distractions. I've started knitting a tea cosy as I just love them, it's  the taste of tea I hate. Mr Bun and Little Bun have begun to take tea together and I do love the whole ceremony of the pot and the milk jug so something cheery and fancy for our pot will be perfect.

Hiding underneath is some gorgeous Amy Butler that I managed to get for £5 a metre. I had my eye on it last year to make a skirt or dress. Really glad I waited now as I love a bargain. I just need to find the dress pattern that I've got in mind and I'm sure I'll get going one day soon.

My hexie is going along slowly, but I knew that would be a long project perfect for every now and then. I've had to unpick the stripy red hexies as it turned out I didn't have enough fabric. Must remind myself to check supplies first next time. Mind you it gave me the ideal excuse to pick up a few more bits for my stash while I was out mooching.


I just need to sort out a few crafty bits to take with me to work tommorow. I never get a lunch break as there's always something to sort out, but new rule to myself is to take one of my projects in to work on as a distraction from it all. 

Have a lovely week and I'll see you somewhere in the middle of it all.

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Of Kings and Lightbulb Moments

A bit of finishing up, getting Spring type thoughts, feasting and finding the obvious solution all under my nose. That pretty well sums up my days since I last came by here.

I finally pulled my finger out and sewed a buttoned back to the Mabel cushion for Little Bun. Not a bad idea having christmas gifts through January too.


As we said goodbye to the season of sparkle and packed our decorations away on Thursday, I was already moving on to Spring in my head. Daffodils, tulips and hyancinths came back with me the next day from the Friday market.


Along with white hyancinth bulbs to put in my favourite bowl. 


Needing only a small excuse to make Friday night special, we planned a Twelth Night Feast for four. While Mr Bun cooked, the Bun's and I whipped up our crowns to wear. All in honour of the Wise Men and their Epiphany you see. There's no religion behind this for us, it's just that we are mad keen on legends, stories, history and rituals here. Oh and any excuse to make a day a bit more special.


On Saturday morning I knew we'd need lots of cake to sort us out after the big garden job we had to do. Two of our apple trees fell together and smushed the hen run when it was really windy last week. Luckily a tree surgeon man lives in our village so he did the deed with the choppers so the ladies were safe again. A huge rose grew in the trees which always looked stunning in the air, on the ground it filled up the whole top of our garden. Big bonfire time and henhouse mending with bits of string and all ok again.


On Sunday more christmas presents arrived. An elephant to race the drummer boy, a sonic screwdriver pen, books and a huge tin of Bourbons. If you look again at my collages you'll see how well liked the Bourbon is around here.


Late on Sunday night I had my own patchwork epiphany, a real lightbulb moment you know. I was stitching more badly shaped hexies and thinking I must act on your fabulous suggestions, when an idea hit me.


I suddenly realised that Patch should have a hexie template in the back I could copy and it did, in exactly the right size. Problem solved just in time to watch Sherlock do some real problem solving.

Friday, 6 January 2012

How many sides does a Hexie have?

I'm on a blogging roll at the moment. Soon my blog fix will have to be reined in and fitted around more days of teaching, like everything it'll find a new rythmn.

My best far too far away friend who sends me gifts from upside down land and I have our own gift sending rythmns.  Her birthday is at the beginning of November. I always miss it and then put together a mish mash of bits and bobs in a parcel that might just make it for christmas. This year she got it yesterday, which is quite a nice surprise when you're not expecting it. I was pipped to the post mind you as I got a lovely parcel last weekend. I've been wearing my heart bracelet ever since. I've also got a stripy bagful of colourful bobbles and fabric to get more ideas bubbling away. The washday bag was a New Years gift from my mum, just because with some peppermint soap in it. I like surprises, nice ones of course.


On a visit to Summerfete the other day she mentioned a blog called  Molly Flanders. I popped over for a visit and was thoroughly inspired by her beautiful work and use of colour. When I saw these hexagon flowers laid out I just couldn't stop thinking about them. After laying in the bath waxing lyrical to Mr Bun (sat in the chair beside me) about the beautiful colours, the shapes and how I want one too I decided to get on with it there and then that night.


I dragged out lots of my stash and plonked it here and there. I never work to a huge plan. I have an idea where I want to go, know what I like and what I think works and just let it happen as I go along.


After a bit I settled on my first hexagon colour way. Satisfied that my plan was already started I went to bed happy. The next day I struggled to make a hexagon shape. Mathmatically I think I'm possibly a moron, but somehow I've got through life so far. I've even taught basic maths which is quite funny really as it turned out I knew more than I thought I did. I still think maths is deathly dull mind you, anyways I'm going off on a tangent (which is probably a mathmatical thingy too). Back to hexies, there must be a formula I guess for making an even sided hexagon? I opted for an odd shaped one in the end where I jiggle with the fabric and we'll just have to see what happens won't we.


With my paper pieces made, off I went, cutting, tacking and stitching. I think this might be a long project, but at least I've made big hexies so that helps me get a bit of speed on.

When I was adding the link to Summerfete I saw she had written a quick tutorial on this technique (except her shapes look right unlike mine) which is called English Paper Piecing apparently. If you want some patchy inspiration I heartily suggest you pop on over to visit these ladies too.

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Something Gentle for the Head

Whilst I was beavering away the week before christmas trying to finish all the gifty makes, Eldest Bun announced "I'd like a new hat, rose pink I think." Little Bun joined in too, asking "can I have a nice soft shrug for christmas?". Shrug problem was solved by cheating and buying one and as for the hat, well I had just the pattern in The Gentle Art of Knitting. I bought a couple of balls of yarn and waited for the lazy bits after christmas to get on with the making.


I clicked away in every spare moment and finally finished the slouchy beehive hat on Monday. By the way Eldest Bun wants a new name on here, something a bit more just so for an eleven year old. So Miss R it'll be from now on I think. Little Bun likes her name on here by the way.

I loved knitting this as the yarn is gorgeous, there are flecks of yellow, white, red and blue running all the way through it. It's Debbie Bliss Donegal Luxury Tweed Aran if you fancy getting some.

Miss R had a grand time acting the model and was pretty patient while I put her head just where I wanted it and yelled "don't move".


Her little sister found it all pretty funny. You take a snap only looking at what you're focusing on and then see a cheeky face grinning up at you.


Then you see another one who keeps making wonderful goofy faces inbetween times. They've got a cracking sense of humour this pair and thankfully want me to keep on making them stuff.

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Just Before we start the next One

I'd planned this post for the 1st. Bad blogger wouldn't be help me upload my pics so in the true spirit of proper laziness I gave up. 

Before I get going on the excitement of a whole brand new year laid out with plans and ideas I wanted to capture some of the best bits of 2011.

Starting right back in January and February when we were having what felt like the 100th snowfall of the winter. I needed tons of colour, cosy treats and naughty indulgences.


In March and April everything starts getting more exciting. Flowers are sneaking through the ground, Little Bun's birthday and Easter egg hunts fill my head with ideas and plans a plenty.


By May we had lots more glorious sun-filled days. the washing was snapping on the line, doors were flung open and the first warm beach trips began. The end of summer is marked by Eldest Bun's birthday and a whole new season to get ready for.


Summer stayed for a lovely long while this year and we had a slow steam into autumn. It meant lots more days for walks and lazy picnics while we ate crumbles and got the winter drinks sorted.


Suddenly it was darker and colder. The woodburner was blazing and christmas excitement started bubbling away.


Now I have two very loud and screechy girls here ready to get on with the new year. I think they'd rather have  a few more days at home doing what they want, but I'm ready for a bit of whatever I want to do time so back to school they go. I hate the end of things, but the start of new ones is pretty good.

Happy New Year to you all.