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 :)

Friday, 20 November 2009

Day 335 - some more Black Apple Dolls!

Well that was a bit of an unplanned sabbatical!  Life has a habit of catching up with you sometimes and it’s a busy existence being a working mummy, sometimes blogging falls by the wayside. All will be revealed soon enough!

That said, the crafting hasn’t stopped, and here we find ourselves on day 335 of my year long journey. What have I been up to? Ooh let me see…so much!  Too much to post all in one go but most recently these little ladies emerged from crafty corner of the cottage...

Two black apple dolls made for friends at work.  These photos were actually taken in the office as I seem to be at home only when it is dark and gloomy at the moment.

The faces and arms are made from hemp, which can be a bit of a bugger to work with if I am honest.  But it is the perfect colour and texture.

I used some of the lace from my swap with parallel botany to put a cute trim on the socks of the blue doll...

I get into the office early so I left them on desks to surprise their new owners when they arrived...

I am happy to report that they are now in their new homes with their very pleased owners.  The blue doll, for K, was named Amelia.  The black flowery doll, for Sarah, was named Rose.

Amelia and Rose...

I absolutely love making these dolls, LOVE it.  I have been working on my own doll patterns too.  It's so much fun to see each one take on its own personality.

Yes it's been busy but exciting times lay ahead!