Thursday, 30 April 2015

A Brooch a Day in May

Tomorrow is the first of May, and so I begin my "Brooch a Day in May" challenge.
I'll be sharing my choices over on Instagram and here, can't wait to get started! 

Tuesday, 28 April 2015

WonderWool Wales

On Sunday we ventured into the beautiful Welsh hills for our annual visit to WonderWool. I love this gathering of like-minded folks, where everyone is passionate about craftiness, the atmosphere and enthusiasm. There are so many talented makers there, so much beautiful yarny goodness. 
I always love seeing the beautiful fluffy critters - Alpacas, sheep and Angora bunnies, happily enjoying the attention. There were huge installations too - Alison Murray's Gingerbread house covered in cakes, with knitted walls and a cosy bed in the corner, and the Giant Cardigan for Cardigan by Lisa Hellier. It was all so very impressive and inspiring! 
I didn't take a shopping list, but of course I expected to buy sock yarn - I found bargain Araucania Ranco merino 4ply in grey pink, and some beautiful Merino/Cashmere 4ply from Rosie's Moments which was my special purchase of the day! I also picked up a Kool Aid dye it yourself kit from Rosie's Moment, I am so excited to try it out! I just love the idea of dyeing my own sock yarn before knitting it up. I found some beautiful hand-dyed wool from Eliza Conway, I went for mustard, olive and turquoise, and was kindly given a purple ball by a friend. I didn't really have a plan for it, but I bought plenty so I'd have enough for a project. It was 50p for each 50g ball so it was pretty bargainous! 
I'm already looking forward to next year, and I can't wait to start using my lovely new stash! 

Saturday, 25 April 2015

My Week...

The past week has been one of time spent at home - Enjoying our garden, chatting to our hens and our little bunny Clarence, sitting out in the sunshine knitting. We have baked, and tended our little patch, and taken things slowly. 
I went for a little drive to visit my parents, where there was more time spent in the garden and knitting, going for long walks with their little companion - a small terrier called Jock. He's rather cute and very excitable. It has been a splendid week, and although it looks like a change in the weather is upon us, I have made the effort to enjoy the glorious sunshine. 

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Baking and Making

With a ball of wool in my hand, I am at my happiest, and feel pretty confident to give anything a go. As far as my kitchen is concerned, I am a self-confessed 'fraidy cat. I love the idea of baking, of wonderful treats and healthy sustaining meals, and as much as I might have the skills to do these things (or so I'm told), I'm rather lacking in the confidence to see it through. So this past weekend I was helper, and chief taste-tester for my husband's wonderful creations. 
I wanted to share recipes, because everything that emerged from the oven was delicious and pretty healthy, mostly organic and almost completely vegan...

Buffalo Falafel - made with chickpeas, onions, garlic, cauliflower and breadcrumbs, and absolutely delicious! (Just a note - the Thug Kitchen blog is lovely but has a bit of choice language, just to warn you in advance...)

Potato Wedges - just cut up and thrown in some oil with some whole garlic and some crushed garlic

Rhubarb Cookies - Fresh Rhubarb from the garden, and coconut and cream cheese. Just lovely! 

Cauliflower Cous-Cous - Salad made with this Yotam Ottolenghi recipe as a starting point, there's grated carrot, courgette, garlic, cauliflower leaves, ginger, peppers... a bit of a "using stuff up" salad. 

We've both been having a look on Pinterest for recipes and hopefully we'll be trying out some other tasty bakes soon. 

Saturday, 18 April 2015

My Week...

As weeks go, this one has been pretty special, full of my favourite things - exploring and adventures, and cosy times at home with my cats and my garden and some knitting. 
The fresh Spring weather has blown away the winter cobwebs, and the opportunity to wander aimlessly in the sunshine has been so welcome. I have so enjoyed watching the hard work we've put into the garden start to pay off, and seeing little birds foraging for bits and bobs for their nest is a joy - They work so tirelessly, with tufts of fluff and twigs to make their little homes cosy. 
As always, I've tried to make time for some craftiness, and have finished two pairs of socks that have been on the needles for some time. It's been a good week. 

Friday, 17 April 2015

Taking Stock - April

Making the most of a quiet morning to have a little think... joining in with Pip over at Meet Me at Mikes
Making : Two blankets and a pair of socks
Cooking : Rhubarb from the garden
Drinking : Tea and Cream Soda (not at the same time)
Reading: "Night Music" by Jojo Moyes
Wanting: to pot up the Succulent plants that I discovered under the Rose bush (no idea how they got there, but not complaining)
Looking: forward to WonderWool Wales, just over a week to go!
Playing: Of Monsters and Men
Deciding: which sock yarn to knit up next
Wishing: for the next series of "Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt"
Enjoying: the fresh spring air
Waiting: for our wild flowers to start growing
Liking: leaving my winter coat at home
Wondering: how much sock yarn I need and if I should buy more at WonderWool...
Loving: weekends away and coming home
Pondering: what to read next
Considering: a new tattoo
Buying: books and sock yarn. Unusually enough...
Watching: "DareDevil" and "Third Rock From The Sun" (love Netflix)
Hoping: to head to a car boot sale in the near future
Marvelling: at the sunshine and the lovely spring flowers
Cringing: at lots of things...
Needing: to get pompom making ready for the Big Knit hats
Questioning: my big box of healthy salad and veggies and wondering if I need cake instead?
Smelling: fresh cut grass
Wearing: lots of summery dresses and little shoes, still in cardigans but at least it's an improvement
Following: the path to adventures
Noticing: the pretty little things in my town
Knowing: that exciting things are planned
Thinking: that I really should have watched "Poldark"...
Admiring: the two pairs of socks that I've finished this week
Sorting: out wool for my lovely Big Knit helpers
Getting: excited for my "Brooch a Day in May" challenge
Bookmarking: lovely patterns
Coveting: pretty dresses and vintage brooches
Disliking: the sad stuff that happens in the world
Opening: my eyes and having a good look around
Giggling: at my funny feline family and all the silly things they do
Feeling: hopeful and full of ideas
Snacking: on healthy things. Or trying at least.
Helping: myself with some quiet time for making stuff
Hearing: little birds in my garden as they go about their busy nesting work

Monday, 13 April 2015

My Weekend in the Big City

This weekend I packed my little red suitcase and I took myself off on a little jaunt to the big city. With my notebook and knitting in hand I set off on my way, dashing through the rain and hopping over puddles to the British Museum, where my adventures began...

In just one day, I travelled the world and explored treasures from every continent. I started in Ancient Greece, at the "Defining Beauty" exhibition, and then moved on to Korea, and then China and onwards to Japan. 

The cabinets full of tiny things are my favourites, so many precious little objects, ancient hand crafted loveliness. 
After a tea break, I carried on to Europe, taking a little wander around the pretty jewellery and ceramics. 

By the end of the day, I think I had been in every room of the Museum, and felt utterly worn out, and my poor little feet were aching, but I had a head full of absolutely amazing things. 
After a good nights sleep, my adventures continued with a trip down to Tate Britain. I had a jolly lovely time looking around the exhibitions, and the permanent collection. 

I am home from my adventures now, my suitcase is unpacked and my notebook is full of big ideas. It's nice to go away, but it's lovely to come home again.

Saturday, 11 April 2015

My Week...

Another week has flown by, and it has been delightful. The Easter weekend was quiet and full of family time and knitting, gardening and tasty treats. We enjoyed celebrating the sixty-fifth birthday of a dear friend, did lots of thrifty shopping and tea drinking, and visited Ruthin Craft Centre for some inspiration, and Llangollen for beautiful views. 
We've made the most of every moment of sunshine over the last week, pottering in the garden, and walking in the fresh air. The winter blues have happily passed and the long summer ahead is full of promise. 

Thursday, 9 April 2015

The Grass is Always Greener Where You Water It...

It seems that Spring has finally arrived, and we've been outside in the sunshine tending to our little garden. We've tamed our unruly Raspberry bushes and apple trees, and made a start on a little wild flower border, as well as planting seeds and bulbs, and watching the new sprouts poking their heads through. 

It's been such a relief to be back outside with the sun shining and fresh air, enjoying the warmth and seeing the new life springing up from the soil!

We harvested our first Rhubarb crop of the year, it's so satisfying to see things grow and go on to fulfil their purpose, in the case of the Rhubarb it became a Crumble, with plenty of ginger. 
I'm so excited to see what happens next in our little space. 

Saturday, 4 April 2015

My Week...

What a week it has been. There have been so many adventures and happy days. We started the week with a visit to the Warner Brothers Harry Potter Studio Tour, and of all of our adventures it remains one of my favourite places. The highlight was seeing the Hogwarts Express, it was splendid. We ended our trip in London, mooching around Covent Garden and Soho in the rain, and it was like coming home. 
There have been visits to Shrewsbury, for shopping  and more mooching (and a delicious Vegan breakfast at Optimum Joy, a new favourite place!) and a trip to Chester with my lovely mum and dad for even more shopping and lots more mooching, and I've even managed some knitting time - a pair of chunky socks. 
Happy Easter lovely folks. 

Friday, 3 April 2015

A Brooch A Day in May - A Plan

A little while ago I decided that since I both make brooches and have an abundance of lovely vintage brooches, that I really should make more of an effort to wear them more often. So I percolated on that little thought and it became a plan - A Brooch a Day in May (because May rhymes with day, obviously...) 
So that's the plan - a handmade or vintage brooch every day for a whole month. I'll be sharing my daily choice over on Instagram and regularly updating here, I hope it will help me to make the most of my lovely collection!

Wednesday, 1 April 2015


My readings for March - a strange sort of mixed up month for books, I seemed to go from action-packed adventures to complicated reality... 
I read...
  • JK Rowling - Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
  • Kim Gordon - Girl in a Band
  • John Green - The Fault in Our Stars
  • Ian McEwan - The Children Act
  • Jon Ronson - So You've Been Publicly Shamed
  • Pittacus Lore - The Power of Six

Have you read anything nice recently? Any recommendations?