Monday, 21 December 2009

One Year today

One year ago today - on the winter solstice 2008 - I started this blog.

Happy Blogiversary to me!

I started out just wanting to document an attempt to build creativity into daily life - around family, motherhood, work and illness.  The idea was to reconnect with the creative person I was before I had all the responsibility and all the worries I have now.  One year on I can say hand on heart without a shadow of a doubt that this little adventure in blogging has worked for me more than I ever imagined it could.

Creativity is a huge part of my daily life and the person I am once more, and I am better for it.  I am not afraid of what I do, or what others might think of it anymore. I am not afraid to let the housework slide once in a while in favour of a night of mosaicing, crocheting, stitching or drawing.  This is thanks largely to the online community of crafters and creative types who share their ideas, knowledge and conviction. Over the past year I have been inspired by so many wonderful crafting bloggers who have quite literally changed my outlook on art, craft  I truly mean that.

If I get an idea in my head I grab a biro and a scrap of paper and sketch it down.  I wouldn't have done that before, I would have just dismissed it and moved on.  I might not always get around to bringing the idea to fruition very quickly but I now have a notebook crammed full of ideas and inspiring pictures, sketches and notes.  The ideas therefore are out there in the world, just waiting to be, not locked away in the dark (slightly scary) recesses of my mind!

I played around to make some lovely little mosaics of the past year of creativity.  Of things I made...

And of things I loved, things that inspired me, and things I found....

Of course there are a zillion half-finished works in progress still to be finished, mainly mosaics put to one side since summer, which I gaze at everyday not with disappointment but with excitement for what these will become.

So, at the end of my year do I say a fond farewell and close the doors to snipsnaphappy's world? 

I am not sure very many people read this little corner of blogville, the ones that do though have left such encouraging comments.  But it was never about people reading really, it was just about sharing the adventure, making a commitment, and learning.   I hope, of course, that some people might have stumbled through here and found some inspiration.

Me?  Well I have benefited in more ways than I could ever have hoped for in starting this blog.  The fact is I can't imagine not documenting what I am doing, and taking the pictures is almost as fun as making the creations. 

So yes snipsnaphappy will go on another year.  Not with the purpose of building creativity into daily life, that has already been achieved, but as a commitment to doing what I enjoy and as a record for my children, and for my family, maybe one day even my customers! never know ;)

So merry yuletide everyone, enjoy the winter solstice and of course...

...merry Christmas :)


Sunday, 20 December 2009

Day 365: Hang on...

Day 365?  Doesn't that make a year?

Yes - looking back I see I started this blog on 21st december last year, which means tomorrow is my One Year Blogiversary!  Well well.

Less of me today then, I need time to prepare a good anniversary entry tomorrow!  In the meantime I will leave you with a couple of pics of the snow here in our little corner of Kent, this has been causing untold excitement in the snipsnaphappy household let me tell you!

One year?!  Where did the time go...

Sunday, 13 December 2009

Day 358: Little gifts

"I need neither future nor past, but to learn to take today not too fast. "
                                                                                       Jeb Dickerson

Christmas is a mad time for us, we spend a most of our weekends during December on motorways travelling up and down the country visiting our various parents and step-parents.  Creation continues though; car travel affords a bit of time to crochet or plan the next exciting crafty adventure in my head. 

Visiting friends and family means gifts are needed too, and what is more personal then a few little homemade treats?

For various friends and family around the country (and one international friend too) some radiator smellies were posted out this week...

I have to say I made rather a lot of them.

These are just a teeny sample.

They are extremely easy to make and the smell of the crushed cinnamon and cloves is just pure christmas indulgence.

Here they are all wrapped up and ready to be posted out.  Excuse the office paraphenalia, I took these pictures at work as it's always too dark when I get home to get any pictures.  I expect they made the post office sorting room smell delightful!

I do love wrapping things up...

With lots of sparkle and festive touches...

Little fimo hearts and string made from recycled paper...

I also have a weakness for stickers, yum!

I hope the recipients are enjoying their little gifts as I write :)

For a much younger family member some more of the felt post I first made back in September...

Little Gracie is only 2 years old so she is just the right age for a bit of postal make believe!  I made sure nobody was left out of the fun of course...

The little letters to go inside have cardboard inside to make them a bit sturdier and easier to get in and out of the envelopes...

I love creating things as gifts, it is such a pleasure, I just wish I had more free time to do it!


Friday, 4 December 2009

Day 349: Moving on...

Thanks very much for the comments on yesterday's post, I am glad I mentioned it rather than glossing it over, life is not all leisurely crochet days and Cath Kidston bags after all!  Sometimes the crappy stuff gets in the way.

Blog-wise I am shaking it off *shake shake* and moving on...

Say hello to Janome...

An early Christmas present from my Dad, and it arrived just at the right time.  That little union jack there in front of it is the last part of my anniversary pressie from my hubby - a super cute little Cath K pin cushion! 

My plan for today was to spend the entire day playing with my new toy.  But then the Movies24 channel did something incredible.  It has changed for the month of December to...

Christmas24.  Christmas films 24 hours a day.  And not just any Christmas films...but really really bad, drastically awful, smulchy dreadful Christmas films. FANTASTIC!!  So now today has been spent playing with my new sewing machine and watching endless festive films of the worst possible quality.  It has been just what I needed.  Perfect.

What have I been making with my new machine?  Well I have run out of light to photograph the finished articles but here are some pictures of the componant parts...

I will get photos of the results for you tomorrow, lets just say that right now my house smells like Santa's grotto with all the cinnamon and clove scents wafting around!  Divine.


Thursday, 3 December 2009

A little blip...

It's hard to know how much of real life should spill into a blog such as this. 

The main topic of this blog is building crafts and arts and lovely such stuff into my busy every day life as a working mum.  I want the feel to be happy and cosy, the tone to be that of a conversation with an old friend about I've been up to lately.  I want it to be the kind of blog that leaves people, including me, feeling nice inside.  Which is why it's difficult to let reality, the hard side of life, seep in.  But seep in it does.

I had a miscarriage yesterday.  I was six weeks pregnant, it was early days, it was all very straight forward, not much pain involved other than heartache.  This news has nothing to do with crochet, or crafts, or baking, or making dolls or mosaics or happy things so it really should have no place here.

Normal crafting cosy happiness will resume in the next post, life does after all go on.  But if I were catching up with an old friend then that is what I would tell them.  Off topic or not. We lost our baby yesterday, and that hurts.

Sunday, 29 November 2009

Day 344: Hand sewn radiator smellies

Six years ago today I got hitched.  It was raining, very windy and totally perfect.

I always loved this time of year anyway, I love the colours and smells of autumn and winter and I am a Christmas addict.  So now we have an excuse for an extra celebration every 29th November.

Bearing in mind the gorgeous festive smells of the season I have been making the little smelly pouches I had pondered on in this post.  Just simple festive stuffed squares filled with crushed cinnamon and cloves...

They smell divine and I like to pop them on the radiators so they warm up and send their warm and glowing scents wafting through the room...

Delicious.  They're very simple to make too so I think there will be a few of these in friends' and family's stockings come Christmas morning!

These pictures aren't scratch-and-sniff unfortunately!  Go crack open a jar of cinnamon and a jar of cloves and inhale, preferably by the light of the Christmas tree with a glass of wine in your hand.  That should give you a fair idea..yum yum.


Friday, 27 November 2009

Day 342: Pressies!


What's this?

Ooh ooh...!

This Sunday is our six-year wedding anniversary.  We agreed to spend no more than £20 on each other and yesterday hubby, too excited to wait, presented me with my gift!  Very excited I was too! 

Do you want to see?

Well ok then...

My very own Cath Kidston oil cloth zip-up tote bag!  Small but most perfectly formed and ideal for carting around my sewing and WIPs.  Though I love its practicality so much I want another one straight away to use to carry my lunch and bits to and from work. 

I've never actually been a huge Cath Kidston fan.  I see her fabrics and think they are lovely of course, I even bought some once.  But the CK designs always seemed too commercial for me, too obvious.  It's like ug boots (bear with me on this analagy..)  I never bought ug boots because I did not want to follow the crowd and be a sheep  As a result I have tramped around parks and playgrounds with cold feet for the last four years unaware until recently that my toes could have been as toasty as...well..toast.  When I finally caved and bought some it was like a revalation, I spent the entire day on Whitstable beach feeling like I was wearing heated slippers.  I will never look back!

It's the same with Ms Kidston.  I have resisted too long and now I am converted.  I am so pleased with my lovely new bag!  I read the accompanying catalogue cover to cover dribbling over all the gorgeous goodies.  I have been so please that hubby has promised to drive me down to Tunbridge Wells for a browse around the CK store in time for my birthday. Look, even the packaging is gorgeous...

This will definitely be recylced as wrapping paper this Christmas, ever frugal!

Right now I am off to pack some crafty goodness to take with me when we visit my Dad this weekend...



Monday, 23 November 2009

Day 338: Princess pink

Lillia wanted some arm-warmers and she wanted them pink!

Pink is her number one favourite colour.  I don't know where it came from, just one morning she woke up and BHAM! it was all about the pink! 

I've always been a yellow kind of a girl myself, but I have to admit that the pink thing can become quite infectious.  Which is just as well as there have been a number of pink items requested recently, more than I have had time (and light) to photograph.

Despite some uncharacteristic good light in the cottage today it was actually rather difficult to photograph a busy three-year-old wearing arm-warmers!  The photos were either a bit blurry...

A bit wonky...

Or a bit silly...

In the end I managed to get a clear picture of course, though I admit bribery of the chocolate based variety was involved...

I crocheted them using a kind of rib stitch - I chained 27 (which was a lucky estimate), then did dc's into just one half (the one towards the back of the work) of each "v".  That is a truly terrible description I know!  It is very easy to do though.  It does make the edges a bit of a pain to put edging on, but that could be because I was kind f making it up as I went along!

The main thing is my little Lillia is happy and her arms are warm,!


Saturday, 21 November 2009

Day 336 - Name tags and ancient deer

Lillia needed a name tag for her nursery bag and I was in a crafty mood (as usual) so I made this...

My embroidery needs improvement of course but it does the job!  It occured to me afterwards that something this simple would make a good little smelly lavendar pouch. Or maybe a nice christmassy cinnamon and clove pouch, hmm, yes I might have to do that.

I am loving using lace on things at the moment.  It makes everything look feminine and pretty.  Unfortunately I failed to get a good snap of the tag in situ on her bag as the light has been so bad. 

In fact we decided today to face the drizzle and gloom head on and we took a little time out at Knowle Park.  It's a 10000-acre National Trust deer park in Kent not far from where we live.  Despite being a blustery and slightly damp autumn day, or maybe because of it, it was an amazing place to visit.

The deer herd has been there for 500 years...

The deer roam freely and visitors have the freedom to roam just as free!  There are paths and grassy routes but you can wander off into the woodland and undergrowth and really get muddy and explore.  The house itself was closed today but it was still lovely to look at from the outside...

There was a little shop selling all kinds of lovely National Trusty things and it was filled with Christmas paraphenalia.  I only wish my little camera was sophisticated enough to have been able to capture the glow of the christmas trees shining through the leaded windows into the gloom outside, it was like something out of Dickens.

We found an "eeyore house" - a little shelter made from sticks...

...and some very interesting funghi...


It was a perfect autumn family day and definitely a place we will be visiting again throughout the coming months.  So now it's time for a spot of crochet and hot chocolate, mmmmm :)