Sunday, 18 November 2012

Vinyl creation

I have had a lovely weekend.  Yesterday was a day of domesticity: finishing more Cranford mitts...

Only a couple of pairs left to go in the Christmas knitting mitt marathon.   I hope they're appreciated!

I did lots of washing, changed the bedsheets, and cooked Slimming World spaghetti carbonara (can you believe I'd never cooked carbonara before at all?!) which was pretty delicious - even if I do say so myself.  It even met the exacting standards of The Bearded One who announced, after I'd cooked and mid-way through eating, that carbonara was his childhood favourite. No pressure then

I also got round to making some more Christmas gifts, out of old vinyl records. 

The photo isn't much good, but can you tell what it is yet?

These may help:

The last one has already found a new home as The Bearded One took a fancy to it, so it's now residing in Paddington.

Group hug?

These are very easy to do, involving old vinyl records - preferably with a colourful label or an interesting track - an ovenproof bowl and an oven.

Oh, and oven gloves...don't forget the oven gloves!

It's great fun and produces unique results every time.

So, quite a productive day all in all.

Today was the total opposite as I spent most of the day at a spa with three of my closest girlfriends.  We haven't caught up properly for way too long.  They all have small children of varying ages and we all have busy lives, so today was a real treat for us all.

So it's back to the real world tomorrow for another busy week at work.  Here's hoping that it goes as quickly as this one has, as next weekend should be fun too!

Just time for a quick trip to Handmade Harbour before bed - in fresh, clean sheets, and fresh clean pyjamas, it's the little things in life :)


Monday, 12 November 2012

Back in the game

Sorry this post isn't about crafting, but I feel like I need to write this down, and the blog seemed the right place to do it.  It should help me motivate myself.

A big part of my life is my ongoing struggle with my weight.  I have pretty much always been a 'big girl' and have seen my mum battle her weight all her life.

I am about 5 ft 7 in and at my biggest, I weighed 17 stone 9lbs and wore a UK size 22 clothes - this was in January last year.  Obese.  Very, if you look at the scales.  At risk of all sorts of horrible diseases and not very happy with myself.

So, I decided (for the second time in my life) to do something about it, and spent a lot of time, energy and a fair bit of money (mostly spent on new clothes and a lot of fruit!) last year and with the help of Slimming World, a fab group and an even more fabulous group leader - Gyll Cowell - got down to 13 stone 12lbs and a UK size 14 by January this year.

'Woohoo!' I hear you say?  Well yes, but then life kicked back in again and a new relationship with the 'Bearded One', a busy, challenging year at work and a lack of personal focus have meant that I've slowly slipped back up to 14 stone 4lbs and a UK size 16.

That's fine, and I'm happy with the size I am, but what I don't want to do is go back to where I came from.  I really don't, and the only person that can do anything about that is me.

So, rather than stick my head in the sand, complete with fingers in ears singing 'la, la, la, la, la, la' rather loudly, I decided last week that I would get my backside in gear and get back to that fabulous group.

I'm very pleased that I did.  It hasn't been a perfect week SW-wise, involving as it has a very lovely lunch with some consultants, a work event replete with canapes and champagne, a night out bowling which involved consumption of cocktails, burger, fries & beer and a Sunday sushi feast with the Bearded One.  However, I was back in group this evening and back on the scales to find a 3lb loss.

Not much to some people, maybe, but a personal triumph for me and a feeling which I enjoy and which I'd like to repeat next week.

I know that SW works if I give it the proper focus and attention, and get myself organised.  It's a sensible healthy eating plan which allows me to live my life and eat chocolate, so that's what I'll do.

Here's to another less than perfect but positive week!


p.s. A bit of crafting all the same...I love this blog post from Lucy over at Attic24 - I want to make that hat!

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Matching pair

Just a quick post this evening as I'm trying to spend more time actually making things rather than blogging about them, or reading other people's blogs about making things...Christmas deadlines and all that.

I'm not sure how successful I'll be at either thing as I'm easily distracted and I love reading everyone else's blogs for inspiration (and simple curiosity!) and I'm intending to head over to Handmade Harbour for a brief interlude.

However, I did say that I'd post the second of the mittens should I finish it this week.


It wasn't entirely plain sailing as I yet again failed to read the pattern properly and had to frog a few rows, and I also had to frog a few more rows due to forgetting to change colours for the stripes on one occasion.

Still, I'm quite pleased with the result and hope that they'll be a more successful Christmas present for the intended recipient than last year's hat, which was too small!

Happy Sunday!


Saturday, 10 November 2012

A little Bloglovin...

I've just discovered Bloglovin and I really am 'lovin' it already!  Keeps all the blogs I follow in one place, particularly useful when reading posts on my phone.

So, I thought I'd add my blog to the site Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Happy Saturday all!

Sunday, 4 November 2012

Gubs (or a lesson in following a pattern)

This week has been about gubs.  What?  That's gloves to most people.  Gubs is what my dad calls them.  I've no idea where this term comes from but it's stuck.

I finished another pair of Cranford mitts which will be a Christmas gift for someone, as yet undecided.  This pattern is one of my favourites and these are a staple of my limited repertoire. The pattern is pretty much committed to memory now, I've made quite a few pairs of late...

nearly finished, the end are now all sewn in

Committing a pattern to memory is a good thing as this week's other attempt at gloves has revealed that I am not very good at following a pattern.

Mid-week, I settled down to make a pair of children's mittens for a friend's little boy from The Big Book of Kid's Knits by Zoe Mellor. 

A quick and easy project I thought to myself.  Yes, if you read the pattern properly.  Ok, perhaps I was a little distracted.  My furry companion was not being particularly helpful that night. 

But I can't really blame Scooby, she was only doing what cats do best, being curious.

The pattern is written in three sizes and I plumped for the 3-4 years so that he'll be able to use them next year too. 

I didn't take photos of all the intermediate stages (I was too busy swearing under my breath) but suffice to say that the amount of times I went wrong during a relatively short space of time is quite impressive.  Between forgetting to change needle sizes and forgetting to change yarn for the striping, I had to undo various sections.  The biggest mistake however, was the fact that I started to knit both the 1st AND the 3rd sizes in the same mitten.  It took me until after I'd completed the thumb to work out what was wrong.

The result is that I only have one, very small mitten to show for quite a few hours' work this week.

Still, I'm pleased with it, and at least I know what to do (and more importantly, what not to do) for the second of the pair.

With a bit of luck I'll have the full pair to show on Handmade Monday next week!

I hope your week has been less full of errors.

Bye for now!


Tuesday, 30 October 2012


Thank you all for your comments on my 'last return' post.  Great to 'meet' you!

Having said I wanted to add purple pompom trim to my lampshade, I decided to pop into John Lewis on the way home yesterday on my quest.  They didn't have any.  But they did have red.

Now, anyone who knows me will tell you that I'm mildly totally obsessed with the colour purple. I even got married in a purple dress.  (I blame my aunt.)  I don't have a problem with admitting this, as you may be able to tell from the title of this blog.  However, I am trying to be more adventurous with my colour choices.

So, that, coupled with my natural impatience meant that I decided to try the red pompom trim.

Once home this evening, I finished off the lampshade with the red pompom trim and I'm not dissatisfied with the result.

In fact I think it brightens up my purple, white and green lounge.

More importantly, it's finished!

Right, on to the next new project...I've got a bad case of 'startitis' at the moment with a number of different projects on the go already and no willpower when it comes to starting new ones.  I think I've got more time than I actually have.  Hey ho, I suspect I'm not alone...

See you again soon


Sunday, 28 October 2012

The last return...

I'm back again after a lengthy absence from this blog.  It never really got going to be honest, but I've recently rediscovered many blogs that I enjoy reading immensely, and that, coupled with a burst of crafting activity has made me think that I ought to give it a go again.  If only as a showcase for various finished items.

So, here I am, and here is the latest finished item.  A lampshade.

Mine's the one on the left. The one on the right was made by my friend Rach. Rach is the reason behind the workshop in the first place as she generously gifts me a 'workshop' every year for my birthday.  My birthday being in January, we struggled to find the right date and activity this year so have only just got round to doing it.

So we met in Reading on Thursday evening and headed off to Make and Do in Caversham where we set to choosing fabrics.

We all chose different ones and they all looked rather fabulous I think.  I think I'm going to add some purple pompom trim (similar to the one on the bottom of the Christmas tree lampshade) but even the unadorned version is looking splendid on my mantlepiece as I type.

The lampshades were super easy to do, and the evening was very pleasant.  I'd like to make some out friends and family, this could be a lampshade Christmas!

Right, that's it for tonight.  Don't want to overdo things on the first post back after a while now do I?

Back to my big purple sofa and a chilly Sunday evening of crocheting goodness!