Tuesday, 31 January 2012


On Saturday me and the hubby fly out for our first holiday in four years! Don't get me wrong I'm not complaining - we have a roof over our heads and food on the table and I am grateful for that every day!But I am thoroughly looking forwards to a break.Also we are going with friends, so it should be quite fun.  After spending goodness knows how many hours worrying about everything from whether the kids are going to be ok (They are - their Nanny is coming up for the week and they are going to be spoilt rotten I can guarantee it) to whether someone is going to come back with a broken bone (actually quite likely - we're going on a ski/snowboarding holiday) I think I have everything covered.
We're going to Borovets in Bulgaria, and they have had quite a lot of snow recently...
This is what you want when you're going ski-ing....
Image courtesy of www.bulgariaski.com
This is NOT what you want when you're going ski-ing....
Image courtesy of sofiaecho.com
Hmmm...cars stuck under snow... oh dear ... The country has been in what their papers are calling a "snow crisis". Not so good!?!However the airport seems to be running as per usual and all seems like it should be ok!

Thursday, 26 January 2012

On The Go...

My lovely Aunt managed to get me two gorgeous dragon cross stitch kits last week (photos to come I promise!) from her knitting group.  I love my dragons so I was thrilled. And I realised as I started one that I actually haven't done a kit in quite a while. I have tended to do smaller cross stitch projects for a specific purpose, with patterns from books. I forgot quite how nice it is to actually start a project with the aida to the right size and all the threads sorted out for you!
Obviously when my threads arrive for the Murloc square that is going to be my priority, but if I have dragon started then I can always pick it up and do half an hour or so...
Well that is the approach I take to quite a few projects...
And I started thinking of all my half finished projects on the go...
On the Go:
  • Middle Earth Map (this is one that is going to take a while however I do it)
  • North Country Quilt...still not done....oops
  • Knitted jumper to be unpicked and fixed if possible
  • New Dragon cross stitch 
  • Popcorn kit that hasn't been touched since we moved because there wasn't enough thread in a particular colour and I haven't got round to getting it yet
  • Footprints cross stitch - which needs alot of unpicking 
  • TO BE STARTED Murloc square which needs to have 6"x6" cross stitched by August at latest
  • ALSO am committed to knitting the hubby a cowl and hat for our holiday which starts 4th feb....
Oh dear! This list is actually not as long as it could be...but longer than it should be.
 So I think this year is the year to finish projects, and do all that pesky unpicking that needs doing.  I don't really do new years resolutions because if you don't keep them it's far too depressing. My new years resolution for 2011 was not to enter a hospital for the year - that didn't go so well.(I spent 3 months in and out of hospital last year before a doctor finally realised my appendix was in the wrong place!!!!) So this isn't so much as a resolution as a goal.
This year I want to achieve:
  • Finish North Country Quilt 
  • Do the Murloc square for the charity quilt(very proud of this one)
  • Finish the pesky Popcorn kit that needs to be finished
  • Either sort out the knitted jumper disaster OR have a finished knitted item that is wearable in an adult size
  • Get the Dragon cross stitch done - because it would look gorgeous on our wall
  • Make a large headway with Middle Earth. I don't mind if this one isn't done this time next year as long as it is over half way done.
  • Complete my Child Development course with a decent pass
Hopefully these are realistic enough goals. What are yours?Also am I the only one with half a dozen unfinished projects or is that just part and parcel of being a crafter??

Monday, 23 January 2012

WOW Cross Stitch Square

I am going to be cross stitching a World of Warcraft square for this years Sprite Stitch Childs Play quilt. Last year over at Sprite Stitch they came up with the brilliant idea of getting a load of gaming crafters together to do a project for charity. The charity they chose was Child's Play.  Child's Play in their own words are:
 A game industry charity dedicated to improving the lives of children with toys and games in our network of over 70 hospitals worldwide
Having had a child in hospital for a short amount of time, I can completely appreciate what a difference this would make. Also it is really nice to see Gamers in a positive light!
 In the end Sprite Stitch created a beautiful quilt, with each person doing one (or more) squares completely cross stitched from different video games.
This is what it looked like completely finished:
 Each square was completed separately and then all put together.  Well in December it went to the Child's Plays dinner auction and raised over $2000! And they are doing another one this year!!!!
Having missed this last year I jumped at the chance to get involved.  From the looks of things so far they may well need to do two quilts because so many people have signed up!
This is going to be my square:
For those of you not in the know, this is a Murloc from World of Warcraft! Once I'd (finally) found an image I liked and would suit all the requirements several very kind people turned it into a pattern for me. All I have to do now is get the supplies in and get started. This doesn't have to be sent off until August so I have plenty of time. But I am very excited to be part of it this time around!

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Thursday, 19 January 2012

Handmade PE Kit Bag

When my darling daughter started school last year I made sure she went in with a Handmade PE Kit bag.  She was and still is smitten with it.  Well since then she has made "Very Very Best Friends EVER" and bless them they are convinced that they want to be twins. (I caught madam with my makeup trying to make herself more like her friend, so they could be twins!!!) So I thought for her friends Birthday I would make her a PE Kit bag so they could both have their handmade bags together. 

Unfortunately I didn't have any more princess fabric, but I did have this gorgeous strawberry print in my stash - and just enough for a bag.  I know the cross stitching on the front is a bit twee - but they're 5 and they love all things dainty so I hope it will go down well.
It also means I've had my poor neglected sewing machine out for the first time this year.  I am slowly attempting to organize my craft stuff so hopefully it will be easier to get to it all and be used a bit more often.  Unfortunately I don't have anywhere that I can claim solely as my craft area, but the dining room table will do the job 'till we win the lottery ; )

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Wednesday, 11 January 2012

ED209 Child Development

For the past couple of years I have been trying to get a degree in Psychology at The Open University and yesterday I received a parcel ...
They are the books for my next course - Child Development.  Although it is a compulsory course for my degree it is one that I would happily take separately anyway. 
 I didn't expect my books to arrive till at least next week, but I am so glad that they have because I like to get a good head start on these things. It's not because I'm particularly geeky (although I am) it's because life has a tendency of throwing c**p at me whenever I have deadlines. 

I may be weird but I really enjoy learning and have been looking forwards to these arriving for quite a while.  However, with this and my two kids (and husband) to look after, there may not be quite so much crafty time for me for the next couple of months....
I'm sure I'll fit some in though ; )
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Monday, 9 January 2012

Knitted Ski Hat and Cowl

First of all I would like to say Thank You to "The Zen of Making" for featuring me on her Friday Internet Crushes.  I am very honoured.
For reasons unknown our internet has been down this last week, so have been on the missing list, but without the internet to distract me  I actually have some knitting to show you.
The cowl can't be seen too well here, but they are both patterns from Ravelry that I have made in the past week.  The cowl is quite loose, but is wide, so I think it will do the trick under a big coat.  It is knitted from some leftover wool that I have had since I first started trying to knit this time last year, and I still love the deep red colour. The hat is knitted in aran and I used the same red as the cowl to blanket stitch around the side.   This wasn't part of the pattern, but I wanted to add some colour to it and I think it works quite nicely. I am going to change the tips of the "dangly" bits on either side though, possibly to a mix of both wools plaited or something, I'm not sure yet.  I really enjoyed knitting this hat and was very relieved to finally find a decent hat pattern knitted on straight needles. I can't say that I can't knit in the round, it is purely that I haven't attempted to knit in the round.  I've tried to cast on on a pair of circular needles and couldn't figure it out.  
The reason that I have had to knit these is that my Darling Husband has sneakily organised for us to go ski-ing with friends the week of my birthday next month! SQUEEE!!!! 
He had said something about it, but by the time I realised he was seriously organising this it had already been booked.  I do have to say a HUGE thanks to my mother in law though because for both of our birthday presents she is paying for our flights AND she's coming up to look after the kids for the week.  It has been four years since we've been on holiday and I can't wait.
The next thing on my needles is a hat for my hubby!
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Sunday, 1 January 2012

Handmade Christmas Presents

Happy New Year everyone.
I thought I would kick off the year with some photos of some of the lovely handmade Christmas Presents given and received last week.
The Tardis iPhone case
I've started with this beauty that I made for my brother-in-law. He is a huge Doctor Who fan and I knew that this would be hugely appreciated. You can buy the iPhone4 case covers from amazon here and the pattern was free from The Zen of Making
(It always amazes me how generous people are with their patterns!) I was worried what it would be like to stitch on but it was really easy and I think it looks good. I know that my brother-in-law likes it because I made him open it while on the phone to me so I heard the scream of excitement!
I made another of these covers for my Aunt, but chose a red case and stitched a white tea pot onto it. Unfortunately I completely forgot to get a photo of it though...Doh!!  
My other handmade gift was for my lovely hubby who loves dragons. Again this was a free pattern online at Carolyn's Stitchings. I have a tendency to substitute colours needed for ones I have, but made sure I got all the right colours in for this one and I'm really glad I did because they look gorgeous.  Also there isn't any backstitch needed for this as it has a shaded kind of effect.  My two year old son "helped" me stitch this as I could only do it during the day when my hubby was at work and he was very impressed that I was making a "raaaaarrrrrr" for his Daddy.
Also I have been lucky enough to have received some rather lovely handmade presents aswell.These were all made by my very clever and generous Grandma!Thank You!!
I might have mentioned a few times I love bags....

A knitting needle case which was very much needed!

A very lovely needle and sewing accessory book.

And this very cute pin cushion.
 Then there was this beauty made by my Aunt:
I love to give and receive handmade gifts, so next year I am going to make sure that I am a bit more organized so more of my gifts can be handmade.  Also I am very lucky to have people in my life that can make such lovely gifts as well!

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