Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Alfie Blue Superstar

There are many songs we sing to Alfie Blue, but our favourite by far is "Alfie Blue superstar rides a motorbike and drives a racing car". He is our best boy you know.


Best boys get special beds made for them to snuggle on. That's in those rare moments he's not on Mr Bun's lap snoozling away of course.


My laptop is sorely unhappy now and so I need to find the funds to buy another one. It keeps switching off whenever it likes now. It took me about eleven switch on's to get this far last night before I gave up. It means I can't blog as I like, set up my etsy store as I want with tunics and such like, nor visit your blogs. I'm feeling out of the loop and I don't like it at all.


In the between times, I've been gathering bits and bobs. Lining them up to shuffle new ideas around in my head.


I missed the programme that was on so many people's lips. Just plain forgot each time it was on. I don't watch that much tv really other than really late stuff when I finally sit down. All the same I'd heard how good it was, especially when I read about it from Daisy. Well I got the book, which seems a whole lot better than a programme to me. It's chock full of fabulous patterns of all the kinds of clothes me and the girls like best.


After taking Little Bun to the doctor's yesterday morning (a nasty rash which luckily turned out to be a post-viral thing), I got down to the business of sewing lots of lovely things.


Here's a sneaky peek of something that was jangling around in my head all weekend. Be back as soon as I can be to show you what it became.


Friday, 26 April 2013

Small Pockets of Joy

Last weekend I needed a treasure hunt fix. While Little Bun danced her socks off at her final Strictly show rehearsal I whizzed off to a favourite place of mine. In the morning the car boot next to Miss Rosey's netball practice had been completely lacking in any goodies. A lack of treasure there left me with the need to find something, just a wee joyful ancient thing. I knew I'd find something I'd like at Junk & Gems and I was right.


Zingy citrus orange plastic jam pots all shiny and lovely lured me in. To be true there were quite a few things that called my name, but as I was whisper away from my pay day I had to behave so we could stretch those pennies we had left just that bit further. I did gather up some needed white buttons and a sunshine floral bed sheet while I was at it though. That's it - honest.


I love these bright plastic pots. I've still not decided what I'll store in them. For now they are a thing of joy and need do no more than bring pleasure every time I look at them.


My need for treasure met I still wanted to find a spot of joyful sewing time. On Sunday afternoon I jumped straight in and got on with a project I've had in my head for only a short while.


I chopped up some fabric to make a halter neck top, just in case the summer really does come. I originally bought this sheeting to make a dress for Little Bun, I really must get on with that too. For now it seemed the perfect fabric for what I had in mind.


As I whizzed along and was nearly done with making my new top, I realised the fact I don't own any halter necks is that I just don't like them. The shape doesn't suit me at all and I find the neck tie uncomfortable. Instead I played with a change of direction for the neck ties and ended up with a completely different shaped top.


I crossed the straps at the back and thought that's just the thing for me. After stitching in some buttonholes and adding a pair of zingy yellow buttons I was thrilled with how my top ended up.

It's such a comfy shape and I felt really good in it so an all round top of joy I'd say. Little Bun fancies one long enough to be a dress and has already placed her order. I'll try to get going this weekend as there's a definate need for summery dresses for our girls these warmer days.

My most joyful thing this past week to be sure was watching our girl dance last night in the Strictly Dance tour of Pasha and Katya. It was a truly surreal evening with a cheesy compere. The highlights were the two performances from Little Bun's dance troupe. Girls from 9 - 18yrs had been chosen and they gave it their all. Our eyes were pretty soggy with pride and admiration by the end.

Monday, 22 April 2013

3 Bad Boys

Not too sure if the old adage Bad Luck runs in three's is true or not, but we've been testing this theory of late and it seems to hold true for us at least. Firstly the hot water tank fused the house before it started a fire (good luck there then), then my car got really angry and kept overheating (big hole in the radiator) and since last week the broadbands refused to work. I thought I'd just see if I could get on here and surprise surprise it's working just now - sssshhh.

I've missed blogging to be honest. I really enjoy writing a tale around the photos I take of our doings. I'm still not sure if I'll be able to visit any blogs yet, I'm going to try that theory out soon if I manage to post this. If not we've a new Hub thing coming this week apparently.

Now to briefly step back in time to catch up with the small happenings that make me glad to be alive.


The Bun's and I have had a go at plaiting some fabric and threading some buttons and beads on to make jolly bracelets. If I ever get patient enough I'd love to make a large plaited rug, for now wee projects like this are perfect.


Last week while hanging about to collect three girls from a very late dance rehearsal I managed to grab the book that has been tempting me with it's gorgeous cover. I'm so glad I did as it's a feel good one.


Crochet Living is well worth it. Beautiful photography with a lot of things I'll definately be making. The colours used are also great for ideas of putting things together whenever I'm drawing a blank. I started bashing out the doilies on the front as soon as I'd fed the girls the next evening. The late afternoon sun was pouring in the windows and it felt good to have a moment at the end of a busy mid-week day to actually sit a while.


I'm also seriously drawn to this simply poncho. Probably has a lot to do with the fact that grey with orange or mustard is doing it for me at the moment.


Then there's this hat which looks the right shape to frame my face. I love hats, but they don't usually like me. Here's hoping this one will.


Then there's this gratuitous shot of squishy blankets, just because.


Today the sun has been pouring in again. I realise I need the light far more than the warmth, although warm would be good too. It makes me feel so uplifted and far more positive than those dreary winter months.


While planning my weeks teaching in my head, I've sat down to start the cardi in Pom Pom this morning. I've stopped while I try to work out a stitch called 3 into 9? I wanted a challenge and I think I've most certainly found it. Debbie Bliss 2ply lace is soft and knits up beautifully is the yarn I've chosen, but is a bit of a deevil to keep hold of.


I've been on a making roll today to be sure. I've made a top which I love (I'm wearing it right now) and cut out two bags which will probably get stitched later in the week now. If this here link to the world keeps on working, I'll be back soon to show you.

Friday, 12 April 2013

Binky here we Come


The holidays are coming to a close and I want to draw them out for just a bit longer. I love waking each day thinking what shall we do now - stay at home and pooter about or go out for adventures?

My man being of the self-employed variety takes random days here and there so we try to make the most of time when he's off. Early in the week we headed to a place known to us as Binky Hall (because he misheard me when I first told him it's name). I prefer our name as it captures the war time associations of the hall for me. 

It was gifted to the National Trust by Lord Lothian, the last owner, upon his death in 1940. Interestingly he was in Washington at the time trying to convince the Americans to join forces with the Allies. The RAF were also stationed here during the war (there's a fascinating display detailing this that I loved). Last snippet that interested me was that one of my favourite childhood films The Wicked Lady with Margaret Lockwood was filmed here in 1945. Do you remember the days when black and white films were on tv on a Sunday afternoon? My Mr and I loved them, but sadly they don't show them anymore.


Binky is a Jacobean house with fabulous gardens and grounds to explore. We've only visited the gardens with the Bun's, but as they love history as much as us they were really interested to be going here. Other interesting fact is that it was the site of Anne Boleyn's family home, although that manor house was knocked down to build this house.


When I went through my pics I realised that I'd taken mostly doorway shots so if you've ever about in this part of Norfolk you'll have to come and see for yourself what a fabulous house it is.


As it's been a few years since we last went inside there were loads of interesting changes to see. A beautiful handpainted Arts & Crafts ceiling had been uncovered and the kitchens were now open to the public.


The kitchens are always the most fascinating part of a house to me. To see how a house worked behind the scenes and to be able to balance up both sides of the daily life of the house from the grandeur to everyday realties makes it far more real.
 

After we'd finished our snoop around the interior we headed off outside. The Bun's galloped about burning off energy while we had a bit of hand holding strolling. Along the way we found the secondhand bookshop and collected up some good reads. An Agatha Christie for Miss Rosey, some Enid B's for Little Bun, art books for Mr B and some childrens books for me.


Then we stumbled upon the kitchen garden. These are always our perfect spaces, just the way we would like our garden to be - all a bit ramshackle and softened around the edges.
 

Just behind me was a small grassy area under a tree. I imagined that's where I would put my bench and sit and knit in the afternoon sun while Mr dug holes for things. All in all a great day - full of the ones I love best, history, daydreaming, books and tons of fresh air.

Back to reality today as we need to buy school trainers and the food cupboard is bare so off we go hunting and gathering. 

Thank you for your lovely well wishes on my last post. Truly appreciated as always.

Monday, 8 April 2013

Ball & Chain

I can honestly say that this Saturday was glorious for quite a few reasons. My man and I were celebrating 12 years of this marriage malarkey. We've been best mates for 14 mind you. I've never stuck at anything quite this long so he's definately the man for me. 

We planned to head off to the coast with the added hope that there might be a vintage market for me. The sun did the right thing and shone and shone some more all day long. We parked up by the pier and then headed inland in search of a money machine.


Opposite the money place was a big sign announcing Vintage Market Here. Well I was off like a terrier down a fox hole in search of goodies. The market turned out to be run by a couple of ladies I know of old. After some pleasant chat (with me being polite, but straining to have a look see) I found a few wonderful things.

I grabbed a delicate pink swan and another pastel jug to add to the growing pile. Most exciting of all were the pink and yellow cotton mix M & S curtains. Tons of fabric for clothes making, bag making, quilting or just hanging at the window as they were made for.


With my finds all bagged up I rushed outside and we headed coastward again. We were so lucky to get a table at our favourite beach hut nestled in a sunny spot. Hot chocolates and cheese toasties with the smell of the sea and the sun on our faces, pure bliss.

After lunch and with the promise of icecreams at the next cafe up the prom, we raced up the steps to head to the canons on the hill.


I can't think of a more perfect way to spend a sunny anniversary in April.

Back at home the postie had delivered a magazine that had intrigued me when I saw it on Millefeuilles so I was able to snuggle up with a coffee for a read. Pom Pom Quarterly is far more expensive than any other magazine I've ever bought, but there's a good reason I was tempted. Not only is it beautifully packaged, but really it is just full of knitting patterns, all of which I want to make (therefore making it the same price as pattern books really). The cover cardigan is one I'll definately be having a go at, although it's quite a complicated pattern so I'll have to really concentrate for once.


I was also impressed by the personal touch. It had been wrapped in pink tissue paper and had a thankyou note tied to the front signed by one of the editors. This added to the delight of receiving this quirky wee mag for me.


This cardigan is knitted all in one piece, with the sleeves then being worked as you go along. The raglan is stunning with the floral motifs and I adore the cable patterned rib. This really deserves exactly  the right yarn so I won't rush into this one, besides I have a pink cardi to finish first before I get all distracted again.


After a restfull moment with Pom Pom, it was then time to watch Dr Who while we waited for nanny to arrive. We headed off to a favourite veggie restaurant of ours, one where I take an age to choose a meal because it's all so delicious. Sipping G & T's and laughing with my gorgeous man brought a very good day to the perfect end.

Waking this morning I found the sun was shining still. My goodness me we're just not used to this. I made some choccy cookies and then dragged everyone into the garden for a big clearup. When Little Bun and I chopped the trees near the henhouse we found a big pile of eggs. The maths are simple. We have three hens, but get two eggs every day so we knew they were being laid somewhere else, we just couldn't find them.


We chopped, swept and tidied so much that my arm muscles are very painful indeed. All in all it was a good spring day when new fabric is drying on the line, plans are being made and cookies are there to be munched all day long.


Hope you're getting some of this happy weather too.

Thursday, 4 April 2013

Bob and Bill meet Walter

Something strange happened that meant I completely ran out of steam a few days ago. I woke up and didn't even have the strength to move one foot in front of the other. I've never ever been that exhausted, so tired that I couldn't even pick up my needles or hook. It was probably good to have a forced rest as the start of the Easter holidays were busily mad.

Before I flopped, I knitted up a couple of Easter chicks for the Bun's for Easter morning. After a lovely day out with ten children for Little Bun's birthday bash at a Victorian farm it was a good way to unwind. 


I found these chicks in 30 Minute Knits and wanted to make them from the first moment I spied them. My Mr loves them too and so I've been asked to make one for him aswell. 

Yesterday my voom came back. Thank goodness for that. All this lovely time off work and no energy to enjoy it wasn't good enough. After a family day out we all went off to our own thing. My thing was to have a rootle in my felt stash as I'd fallen for a few things in a library book.


Stash Happy Felt by Amanda Carestio has quite a few cute ideas in it. A lot of it isn't to my taste, but the things I fell for were right up my street. How could I not desire a felty whale of my own surrounded by a wee shoal of red fish?


Walter was fiddly to make at times, but oh so enjoyable too. He's actually a pincushion, but for me he'll just be another sweet friend to have and to hold.


The fiddliest part was stitching the small waterspouts and fish onto the pins. Then I had a brainwave. I realised it was easier to place just one cut out part onto a square of felt and then cut around it once the stitching was all done.


A red heart covers up the slash in his tum where the stuffing went in. It's been an age since I played with felt, I'd forgotten how much fun it is to make something up so quickly with no fiddly edges to hem.


Once Walter was done and dusted I couldn't resist whipping up a wee foxy brooch for Miss Rosey too. I might even make one with a bow on it's head for Little Bun.