Monday, 30 January 2012

Making Time to Make it: Dolly the Dachshund

I was having a tea-break at work and reading through some of my favourite blogs when I came across Gretchen's new pattern for Dolly the Dachshund.  I knew right then that Dolly would have to be my Making Time to Make it project for this month!  I decided there and then to make Dolly that very evening.

And here she is...

Dolly the Dachshund

Isn't she lovely?

Dolly the Dachshund

She has been stolen already of course.  Anything soft and cute in this house seems to end up in Lillia's nest.  Here's Dolly being held in a pair of very chocolatey sticky hands (post chocolate krispie cake making!)

Dolly the Dachshund

Of course another was requested.  In bright pink naturally.  So now Dolly #1 has a new friend in Dolly #2...

Dolly #1 and Dolly #2

This is such a cute pattern, thanks Gretchen!

What are you making time to make this month?


Thursday, 26 January 2012

Looking back at 2011

Morning all!

Well most of the swap information has now been sent out, if you are still waiting for details of your spoilee do not fear, I will hopefully have all the emails sent out by tonight :)  I am very much looking forward to this little early 2012 swap!

Speaking of it being 2012 and a new year....I've been looking back over my Flickr and, inspired by Attic24's beautiful mosaic summaries of her year I have created a couple of little photo mosaics to summarise my year here on snipsnaphappy.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

In the first part of the year I was very much in the midst of Baby Days - lots of  lounging around in pyjamas, playing with rattles and feeding.  I started the Big Happy blanket in January as a way of crocheting through my post-natal depression...and by March I was back into full creating mode!  We had a lovely hot spell in April when the sun shone plenty and we were able to get out into the garden and admire the flowers...

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

As we approached Summer I enjoyed time with my girls and grabbed the change to try some more arigurumi along the way.  I finally wrote a pattern for covering a touch screen iPod (still to be written up and shared here...soon...very soon!)  We enjoyed yet more sunshine and I finally made a Mei Tai baby carrier!...

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

We spent a wonderful summer week on holiday in the beautiful Kent countryside, the skies were blue the entire week...2011 was quite a sunshiney year all in all.  I tried my hand at more arigurumi and was delighted with my alien-like "Horge" creature! I made arm-warmers out of tiny alpaca wool granny squares, and crocheted a doormat of all things....

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Heading into the final part of the year I had a sudden spell in hospital :( But at least it gave me the opportunity to start on the latest Happy Hooker Backwards project and Topsy was born!  I also tried my hand at colourwork for the first time.  Spurred on my successful attempts at arigurumi throughour the year I created Alien from my own pattern. We celebrated our 8 year anniversary and Phoebe's 1st birthday and before we knew it winter was upon us and we waved farewell to 2011!

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

It's a funny old lark this blogging thing isn't it?  Would you believe I have been writing this blog now for three years?  I started on 21st December  That's a lot of rambling, a lot of photos, a lot of crochet, a lot of crafting and cake.  I often ponder on whether I should continue to do it - it takes a bit of time as you know, and with two girls, a long commute, a full-on job and the school run to contend with do I really need another pressure on my time?

Well, yes.  My blog allows me to document my crafty activities and my family life, encourages me to be creative, inspires me to continue living the lifestyle I want to and gives me motivation to challenge myself to do new things.  My kids can read this in years to come and laugh at how young we look and how old-fashioned it all is :)

So happy 2012 everyone, a little belated I know, here's to another year of blogging!


Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Baby leg-warmers

We all love those chubby baby legs, and Phoebe's are chubbier than most believe me!  When you see them you just have to give them a squeeze...! 
Crocheted baby leg-warmers!

I crocheted these legwarmers using the yarn I received from my Ravelry Christmas swap partner, the pattern was in the Crochet Today magazine she sent me too.

Crocheted baby leg-warmers!

Crocheted baby leg-warmers!

This is a really lovely pattern to use and the leg-warmers turn out incredibly cute for very little effort.  I love these.  Phoebe seems to like them too, though she is slightly baffled by them!

Monday, 23 January 2012

Swapping and baking

Thanks everyone who has signed up to the swap! We have seven (me included) of us taking part, I still need a few email addresses so take a look at the list below to see if you need to get in touch!
  • Lise - I have your email
  • Claire (The Hookery) - can I get your email please
  • Fiona (Frou frou) - I have your email
  • Erica - I have your email
  • Lily (Making it Vintage) - can I have your email please
  • Thea (MummyCat) - I need your email
Could all of you please email me your postal address and I will email you details of your swap spoilee! The sooner the better so we can get swapping! Thanks everyone.

Right, now onto the serious business of baking.  My sister gave me the Cookie Magic book by Kate Shirazi, it contains cookie recipes galore (you'd hope so given the title) and the recipes promote the use of free range eggs, plus a donation from each sale of the book is made to an animal rescue charity, so well done her, right on :)

I've so far made my own rich tea biscuits (gorgeous) and these rather lovely digestives...

Homemade digestives

I also made the basic butter biscuits...

Making butter biscuits

...and drizzled them with icing sugar....

Butter biscuits with icing....mmmm!

Butter biscuits with icing....mmmm!

Deary me have I eaten far too many of these over the last few days! 

It's a pretty good book, I'd recommend it so far.  I'm going to try the ginger nuts next :)

Thursday, 12 January 2012

Swappity Swap

I love snail mail, there is nothing like getting a little beautifully wrapped gift through the post is there?  Lovely when it is unexpected, and lovely when you have the anticipation of knowing something is going to arrive soon.  I love sending things, choosing, making, wrapping, taking my little parcel along to the post-office.  It's all such an enjoyable process.  That's why I mentioned a little while ago the idea of a little swap to brighten up the long post-Christmas months.  As there have only been a couple of lovely takers I thought I would raise the idea again with a little more detail in case there is anyone else wanting to join in.

Craft swap for Growing a Better Me

The swap would be very simple:

  • Your sender would be different to your sendee - in other words if you were sending your parcel to me, your own parcel would be coming from somebody else. This makes it all the more exciting :)

  • Your parcel should contain two handmade items for your sendee, these can be anything you like.  If you include any other little shop-bought bits you should spend no more than a couple of quid, it is January and we are all poor after all!

  • Don't reveal your identity to your sendee before the swap!  You can include a card/letter in your parcel to say who you are :)

  • I will do a short Q and A for all participants so that each sender gets a small overview of what their sendee likes.

Fabric swap with Parallel Botany ready to go!

Sound good to you? 

If so, then please copy and paste the questions below, along with your answers, into a comment below, or email them them to me, by Wednesday 18th January and I shall set it all up (those that have already let me know they are interested could you please fill in the Q and A too!)


Where are your online homes? (e.g. blog name, ravelry username, instagram, twitter etc)
What is your favourite sweet treat?
What crafts do you do?
What crafts would you like to try?
What are your favourite colours?
Do you have a favourite scent?
Do you have children (if so, how many, how old etc)?
Is there anything you wouldn't want to receive (i.e something you don't like or might be allergic to)?

Close up of part of craft swap - for Growing a Better Me
Happy swapping!

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Splashes of colour

Well this January is testing my optimistic feelings about the first month of the year!  Grey and wet and drizzly without a hint of snow to brighten things up.  The light is terrible, I know I know, it's annoying to hear people whinging about the lack of light for photos but it's TRUE I tell you! 

In between the day-to-day bustle of childcare, work and dashing about in the rain I've been capturing some colourful images to cheer myself up, thought I'd share them with you...

Bath time is always a colourful affair with young children of course, and my own bath times are rather colourful too with my brightly coloured Lush box of goodies...
And even though early mornings in my office are chilly to say the least, there is always some warmth to be found in a mug full of tea :)

I've been making too of course, in fact I have rather a lot to share with you on that front.  I just have to find the time to somehow manage to snap photos.  I also have a tutorial in the pipeline! Rigt, back to the day job for me for now.  Laters alligators.


Sunday, 1 January 2012

January - Colour

Happy New Year!  I trust you all had a wonderful Christmas time?

I can't believe it was only two weeks ago that I was looking forward to completing two more days of work before the holidays, seems like so long ago!  We've had a wonderful family Christmas and we managed to catch up with a lot of good friends too.  We had a quiet new year at home as Phoebe is still so young, it was lovely to just chill out with some champagne, watch the festivities on the telly, then be snuggled up in bed just after midnight :)  And of course a quiet night in means no new year's day hangover to contend with!

There's still a full FOUR days before Lillia goes back to school though, I have to admit I'll be glad when she does!  It's been utterly lovely to all be together but she needs to get back to the routine, as do we all really.

So here we are in January 2012, I've always rather loved January.  Yes it tends to be cold and wet, and nobody has any energy, money or liver function remaining, but it does signify the start of a brand new year, the time to make plans for a brighter future in the year ahead.  Even in this post last year, in the thick of post-natal depression, I managed to feel optimistic in January.

So to celebrate my love of January as a month of new beginnings and positive thinking all my blog posts this month are going to be about COLOUR...

Lillia, Aerial, Gregoire & pink boots :)
Lillia strolling with her Aerial doll, pink boots & her "gregoire" bag (still to be blogged about!)

Fesive Phoebe!
Phoebe put together this ensemble by herself

I've been playing with an app on my iPhone called "coloursplash", it's a lot of fun, especially with my two girls and the array of girly colours they adorn themselves with on a daily basis!

Lillia's red hat
In the park on Christmas day

Phoebe's blue eyes

I especially love Phoebe's blue eyes in this last picture.  The app converts your photo to black and white and then you select the areas to turn back to colour, so this is her actual eye colour it's not a tint or anything.

So that's my first dose of colour for you, there will be much more to come throughout this grey yet optimistic month!  Happy New Year!