Thursday, 20 November 2014

Rosie Mitts

Hello lovelies!

Go on, ask me what I've been doing …

I've been listing another crochet pattern in my Etsy shop, that's what!


May I introduce you to my ✿ Rosie Mitts ✿

Am I allowed to admit that I love something I designed and made?

Fancy making your own?  Then skip merrily across to HERE!

Thank you so much to everyone who has bought my Miss Read Mitts pattern.

You're awesome you are.


Friday, 14 November 2014

I ♥ My Craft Room

I wondered if you fancied a little potter around my craft room?  It's definitely an 'in day' today as the weather's been so grotty and I've just been giving it a bit of a spruce.  The kettle is on and you're most welcome.

I love my craft room.  I wish I'd given it a more interesting name from the offset.  My friend Cuckoo calls hers 'the bird box' which is delightful but if I called mine anything else now it would be too contrived so 'craft room' it is.

I claimed this room as my very own eighteen months ago and blogged about it here.  Gosh, it looks so much more cluttered now.  It's definitely a hotchpotch and not the kind of room you'd ever see gracing the pages of a magazine but it's full of my pretty treasures and favourite things.  It even smells nice.  Occasionally I get an urge to have a ruthless purge and turn it into something a little more streamlined and stylish but it doesn't last long.  Anyway, I don't think there is one single thing in here I could, or would want to, do without.

It's extremely dull today so please forgive the lighting.

Unfortunately I do have to share it with the ironing board.  And Mount Ironing.  There's no point in my pretending that the shameful heap you see there is a one-off; there will be clothes at the bottom of the basket I've actually forgotten I own, trust me.

The pin board hasn't quite made it up on to the wall yet.  If you've ever sent me a pretty card at some point, you might just see it on there.

My pile of magazines.  Mostly Mollie Makes, Simply Crochet and Cross Stitcher.  I don't subscribe to any magazine any more and only very rarely do I buy one.  I feel I've amassed a bit of a reference library and can spend ages just picking through them.

As for the files?  I file everything; it's one of my 'things'.  I think it stems from my days as a PA.

Essential yarn storage!  I wonder if there is anyone, anywhere who doesn't have at least one Ikea bookcase???  It may look a bit of a piggy mess to you but I assure you it is organised.  At the top there you see my beloved Sublime stash, a wire basket of aran weight yarn and another of Rooster on the middle shelf, and my Debbie Bliss baby cashmerino collection on the bottom.

On the very top shelf, I have an original matryoshka doll.  My grandmother brought it back from Moscow as a gift, over thirty years ago.  Also, a couple of mementoes from my 40th birthday trip to Paris, including an entrance ticket to The Louvre and a candle from Notre Dame.  I'm not sure why I keep them all hiding up here.

Katie Daisy calendar.  I must check if there is to be a 2015 version.

This is a little bedside table that used to belong to my Mother In Law.  One day I will paint it.  A soft turquoise I think.  The drawers are chock-full of felt.

My poor neglected sewing machine sits on top.  It's a Brother XL-4023.  I bought it years ago from a mail order catalogue, paying in instalments, and, despite its ill-treatment, it's never let me down.

Oops, I think it needs a wipe!

Random pretties hanging from the ceiling.

My 'control centre' from a very unflattering angle.  Shredder (what can I say, I worry about fraud!), bin, 'phone, printer, radio and laptop.  All within easy reach.  All extremely essential.  This is where I sit and blog.  My 'desk' is actually our old Habitat kitchen table and, after years of being smeared with vegetable puree and Weetabix, glue and paint, I like to think it's enjoying its sedentary retirement in my craft room.

A Laura Ashley lamp my daughter didn't want anymore and, likewise, a cow alarm clock from my son. 

One of my many gorgeous Janet Bell prints.  I particularly love this one because it reminds me of Mevagissey.  I'm going to hang it above the table, so it's directly in my eyeline.  One day.

Ahem.  More shelves.  More yarn.  Drops in the bottom basket and a random selection in the top.

I often print out yarn colour charts - they're such a useful quick reference.  It makes reordering (too) easy plus, of course, they're nice to look at!  To its right is a selection of discontinued Sublime colours.  I'm often asked which yarn I used for past projects and, without this, I'm sure I wouldn't remember.

Oh, and do you like my daughter's sketch of me?  ;-)

Bertie loves it when I'm in my craft room.  He lies just over the border into the lounge where he can keep close tabs on me.  Today he seems to have collected a motley pile of toys.  Bless him, do you think perhaps he wants to show you some of his favourite things too?

If I've inspired you to share your crafty corner (go on, please do), simply add a link at the bottom of this post (under the comments box).

Thank you so much for visiting.  Do come again soon.


Edited to add … take a peek at these lovely ladies' craft room ideas:-

Dinki Dot's pretty craft shelf (love the colour).

Friday, 7 November 2014

Lost - One Plot. If Found Please Return ASAP.

I made a point of going outside and seeking out the moon last night.  Sometimes it's hard to tell if there is a teeny sliver missing from view but I'm pretty sure it was full.  Please let it be full.  You see, that way I can make some sort of sense of this last week which has, my friends, been an unrelenting catalogue of errors.  Or, as I like to call it, a complete tits-up.  (Apologies if that offends.)

It's a well known fact that the moon's cycle can affect people's biorhythms and, I've heard (and selectively remembered) that people with green eyes are particularly susceptible.  Phew.

Either that or I've lost the plot.

I have broken things, spilt things, burnt things, lost things, forgotten things, hurt myself, hurt my car, made mistakes and put my foot in it.  I've been ratty, stressed, impractical, clumsy and away with the fairies.

Then, just to round off the week perfectly, my car got a puncture on the way to school this morning.

Of course it did.  Joy.

I think the only thing I've managed not to do this week is face-plant a pile of freshly-laid dog poo but, hey, there's still time.

As tempting as it might be to climb back into bed and hide before anything else goes wrong, I've decided to come and see you and jumble my way through an appropriately random blog post. :-)

Little affirmation on my bedroom mirror.  Quite tempted to cross out 'great' and write 'trying' at the moment!  ;-)

Oh how I love a sunny corner.  Despite being lucky enough to have a little craft room, this is where I prefer to sit and crochet.  It's always flooded with light.  Our house is a peculiar upside-down, three-storey affair with the lounge being on the second floor, at the back.  Just to the right of my armchair, as you look at this picture, there are double doors with a juliet balcony.  From here I can see into about twenty gardens, including our own, and nose to my heart's content.

One of my favourite recent purchases.  I simply cannot tell you how deliciously chocolatey it smells.

Another recent purchase, Cute and Easy Crocheted Baby Clothes by Nicki Trench.  Rest assured, I don't have any announcements to make; I bought it almost purely for this pattern which has been on one of my Pinterest boards for an age.  I absolutely adore it.

My accessories of choice this week.  I won the scarf (Avoca Anthology) on Ebay a couple of weeks ago and just love the colour combination.  I did a little happy dance when it arrived in the post, so delighted was I with its prettiness!

Ok.  Another small matter to address - my promise of a crochet pattern to be released on Tuesday.  It would seem that a public declaration on my blog acts only as a magnet for disaster and I am not going to be quite so contrived again.  If I am, you have my permission to come and give me a slap.  In future, I will only announce something once it's happened.  Like now.  Three days later than planned, I can confirm that I have now listed my Miss Read Mitts pattern in my Etsy shop.

I do hope you've all managed to drift happily through the week without adversity.

Have a glorious weekend and, if it involves fireworks, look after your little selves.


Monday, 3 November 2014

Mostly Yellow

D's been baking again.  He makes me laugh by creating a little vignette for me to photograph.  Ummm, is this my blog or his?!

Prettiest Liberty buttons for a little cardigan-pimping from my lovely friend Cathy's Etsy shop.

Thank you so very, very much for your comments in response to my last post.  My smile got broader with each one.  In fact, I've just read them all over again and my heart is soaring with the camaraderie of fellow bloggers and commenters alike.  It's official - you're wonderful!  Let us give no more air time to those who aren't.

Oh, Emma, you asked about the yarn pictured in my last post - it was Sublime Baby Cashmere Merino Silk dk in 'Duckie'.  It really is the most gloriously sunny yellow colour and a bit of a favourite at the moment.

So keen was I to thank you, I didn't really formulate a proper post.  As usual though, I've been taking the odd photograph throughout the course of the week and, rather fortuitously, there seems to be a bit of a colour theme so please forgive me for being a bit lazy and running with it?! ;-)

In other news, I've finally opened an Etsy shop.

My very first pattern, Miss Read Mitts, will be available for purchase tomorrow.  I've made quite heavy weather of getting everything just-so and would be lying if I said I wasn't a teensy bit moist with apprehension!  Once I'm happy there are no glitches, my second pattern, Be Creative Mitts, will be available for sale a few days later.  Followed closely by my Sarah Scarf.

And breathe …


Tuesday, 28 October 2014

In Praise Of All Bloggers

When you write a blog for any length of time, you almost expect the occasional negative comment or admonishing email.  It would be naive not to.  However, I've noticed quite a bit of criticism floating around Blogland recently (albeit from mostly anonymous commenters - funny that) and it's getting on my nerves.

Firstly, there is the issue with the supposed 'dumbing-down' of blogs.  Those of us who post pretty pictures and include content of very little substance and, yes, I include myself here, are failing to stimulate, educate and provoke intelligent debate.  Apparently.

Shucks, I must have missed that memo.

By strategically angling your camera so as to avoid including a glimpse of the radiator draped with knickers in the background, or carefully cropping out the suspicious stain on your sofa from a photograph, you are guilty of not 'keeping it real'.  Apparently.

Exactly what we show on our blogs and how much we should divulge about our personal lives is a question we've all asked ourselves.  For me, the answer is very simple.  As much or as little as we want.  As a blog writer, that's our prerogative.

As a blog reader, our prerogative is to click away if we don't like what we see or read.  It's not difficult.

I should like to remind the very small (thankfully) minority of people who are so frighteningly quick to judge and criticise that bloggers are NOT service providers.  However big or small their following may be.  There are no 'shoulds' or 'ought tos'.  Blogging is a form of self-expression and not a responsibility.  Life is messy and complicated enough without constant critics snapping at our ankles telling us what and where we are going wrong, don't you think?

Since the advent of Instagram, many bloggers have shut up shop.  It is a shame but not surprising.  However, there is still a huge number of us stalwarts who have remained.  See that list of names in my right sidebar?  Each very different bloggers with very different blogs.  I personally get an enormous amount of pleasure from every single one of them and am so grateful they continue to share as they do.  Whether it's their pretty pictures, what they had for supper or their deepest thoughts.  Bloggers should be praised and not castigated.

That said, I should like to stress that, in almost five years of blogging, I have received very little personal criticism compared to some.  I think I must be so very lucky and have the nicest people stopping by.  Thank you.  ♥

*steps off little soapbox*


Wednesday, 15 October 2014


If you don't like something, change it.  If you can't change it, change the way you think about it.

This year, I'm going to make a concerted effort to approach winter with positivity.  It's true, I'm not its biggest fan but, to be honest, there's nothing I can do to change the fact that the days are getting shorter, the weather colder and the landscape more stark.

It strikes me that this is the perfect time of year to set a few personal challenges and tackle some projects.  I've just started to go swimming twice a week.  I'm desperate to sort out my thousands of photographs.  I'd really like to improve my knitting.  I've resolved to set aside an entire day every couple of weeks to cook meals for the freezer.  And so it continues; like a sort of autumn/winter bucket list I suppose.

In the meantime, I'm focussing on the good things the season has to offer ...

1. Being Outside.  D and I went for an early morning walk with Bertie on Sunday.  It was mellow and misty.  Quite beautiful.  I had taken my camera with me which always makes me look around with a keener eye.

2.  Handmade Woollies.  Goodness it was chilly though.  I had rather cleverly grabbed my Miss Piggy Ponchette to wrap around my neck but, not so cleverly, forgotten to take anything for my hands.  (There's an irony there - I probably own more wrist warmers more than anybody!)  I thoroughly enjoyed that walk.

3.  Being Inside.  I thoroughly enjoyed getting back home too.  Being enveloped in its colourful and cosy warmth, kicking my boots off and switching the kettle on.

4.  Cooking.  The rest of the day unwound quite gently.  D made a Chocolate Guinness Cake and I roasted some golden beetroot to go with a herby pesto pasta.  I'm eagerly awaiting the arrival of kale in my vegetable box.  I just love the stuff.

5.  Cosy Time.  There's far less of a desire or obligation to get out and about in the autumn and winter.  I spent the afternoon pottering and crocheting.  A relaxing bath and clean pyjamas at 4pm in the summer?  Never.  In the autumn?  Don't mind if I do.  So I did.

To be continued ..//