Saturday 26 October 2013

Something kind of cute

Bella joined our family yesterday - a 10 week old Bichon to join our other Bichon, Megan. 

And just like that, we became a family of 6!

Thank you for all of your anniversary messages, each and every one was special.

G x

Wednesday 23 October 2013

Eight years

Today is our eighth wedding anniversary.

Happy anniversary Phil.

I love you.

G x

Wednesday 16 October 2013

Playing hookie

My granny squares book finally arrived at the library this week so I've been flicking through it trying to choose what to make first. 

I've opted for a granny circle pattern and aim to turn the squares into a cushion to go into Enid.  I think they have turned out okay.  It's a gorgeous book, I think I'm going to have to add it to my wish list!

It's very cold, wet and windy here today.  The acorns falling off the tree sound so loud every time they land, it's like bullets going off.  Not a nice day to be out, so it's log burner on, crochet hook in hand.  I've done four squares so far, and almost another in orange but I've run out of the wool halfway through the final round!  A trip to the habedashery tomorrow methinks!

I'm trying not to think too much about Christmas but I did spy these this week in a local shop and had to have them. 

I think the tray will look fabulous with homemade mince pies on it.  Tempted to try and see, but maybe I'd better wait until at least November!

Taking the girlies off for a treat tomorrow night, as neither of them had parties this year, we are going up to Manchester to see the Disney on Ice show. 

I think they are going to love it!

I also had the bestest day yesterday, Louise over at Hope and Elvis released her workshop dates for next year. Oh what a choice. I've only been to one before, my Granny Chic day with Tif and Rachelle of Dottie Angel and Ted and Agnes fame. Oh it was divine. Anyway, I digress, this time I booked to go on a sewing day with the lovely Laetitia of Mrs Bertimus fame - I almost met her last year as she went on the aforementioned crafty day, only she went the day before! I think it's going to be the most fun. I also hoped to get onto the Julie Arkell workshop as I seem to have missed out on the last two. Alas, and alack I was too late to get on that one but Louise informs me that I am the first reserve should anyone drop out! Hope you're not too windswept!

G x

Saturday 12 October 2013

Books, glorious books!

Mr Postie has brought me lots of treats this week, all in the form of books to review!  I cannot tell you how excited it makes me to see them arrive.  I'm like a child in a candy store!  So, in no particular order, here are some of the reads to come...

Sue Monk Kidd duo!

More adventures with Payne and Jones

A surprise package

Pure Egyptian escapism

YA fun with my favourite spy

I can't wait to read this - loved her debut novel

Flapper glamour

I also treated myself to these two books too as I missed out on reviewing them - and they were must haves!

I think I might need some more hours in the day to get through of all this, and it doesn't include my next book group read, Voices by Arnaldur Indridason, an Icelandic murder mystery!

Anyway, enough already, time to get back to Pharaoh and cut myself a slice of my freshly baked Dorset Apple Cake - yum, yum.

Hope the Mr Postie brought you some nice treats too this week.

G x

p.s thank you so much for all of your lovely comments.  It really does make my day to read them, so thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Thursday 10 October 2013

Chill, what chill?!

Well Lady Fate was clearly with me yesterday as I wove in the ends of my Quince & Co cowl from Mollie Makes issue 11.  The weather has turned colder today so I've already been out bracing the elements, keeping warm and snug in my new parka and co-ordinating cowl.

I've now got a second one to make for my friend for Christmas.  Thankfully the double seed stitch isn't difficult and it knits up easily with three balls of wool.  The joining it all together on three needles seemed a bit daunting in print, but in reality was very simple.

I have to say, I'm quite impressed with myself.  This week I've finished my poncho and my cowl, so I ordered some more wool from Deramores yesterday to begin the rabbit hats for the girlies.

I also spent Monday making Hallowe'en mobiles from the latest Mollie Makes magazine; they now have an extra article in their specifically for subscribers so I thought these would be nice hanging in the kitchen window.  In the end I made two slightly different ones and I think they look rather good - the editor of Mollie Makes tweeted me to say she liked them so faint praise indeed!  (I did whoop a bit lots here)!

Hope you're all keeping warm.  The boiler is planned for the second week in November so we might just have heating for the first time in nearly four years!

G x

Wednesday 9 October 2013

An Illicit Affair

A Heart bent out of Shape by Emylia Hall
Published by Headline

For Hadley Dunn, life so far has been uneventful – no great loves, no searing losses.  But that’s before she decides to spend a year studying in the glittering Swiss city of Lausanne, a place that feels alive with promise.  Here Hadley meets Kristina, a beautiful but elusive Danish girl, and the two quickly form the strongest of bonds.  Yet one November night, as the first snows of winter arrive, tragedy strikes.

Hadley, left reeling and guilt-stricken, begins to lean on the only other person to whom she feels close, her American Literature professor Joel Wilson.  But as the pair try to uncover the truth of what happened that night, their tentative friendship heads into forbidden territory.  And before long a line is irrevocably crossed, everything changes, and two already complicated lives take an even more dangerous course…

Before Hadley, there was Lausanne, before Kristina, and Jacques, and Joel, there was still Lausanne.  Their presence in the city was only passing; the lake did not burst its banks, no mountainsides were sent crumbling, and no shutters broke from immaculate buildings to go clattering to the ground.  Yet between the striding bridges and the turreted apartment blocks, the tree-lined streets and the looping parks, they played out their trysts and tragedies.  Through it all, Lausanne remained unaltered, but the same could not be said for the lives of the people who lived there.
    It was Hadley’s second year of university and she was spending it abroad, in Switzerland.  La Suisse.  Her idea of the place belonged to cartoons – cuckoo clocks and soupy cheese, triangular chocolate and cool neutrality – but then she looked in a guidebook and saw the words ‘Swiss Riviera’.  She read about Lausanne; a city of vertical streets, rising spires and tumbling rooftops.  She’d seen a picture of Lac Léman, shining like a polished mirror, with the serrated edges of Les Dents du Midi and Mont Blanc rising behind.  There were palm trees and vineyards and palatial hotels with striped awnings that flapped in the breeze.  Lausanne seemed possessed of a quiet glamour, discreet but with a rippling undercurrent, un frisson.

A Heart Bent out of Shape is Emylia Hall’s second novel, following on from the bestseller The Book of Summers.  In this, she tells of student Hadley who by chance applies for a study year in the Swiss city of Lausanne, and is accepted to continue her degree there.  Instantly she meets Danish student Kristina and they become best friends, sharing and doing everything together, apart from one thing.  Kristina has a boyfriend, Jacques, but she won’t introduce him to Hadley, and he remains something of a mystery.

On the evening of Hadley’s birthday, a tragedy occurs, and Hadley decides she needs to trace and find Jacques, but who is he, and how should she begin?  There are only two people to whom she can turn, an old gentleman called Hugo whom she meets in a hotel, and Joel, her professor.  Working together they try to piece together the mystery and locate Jacques, but all is not what it seems and Hadley winds up playing a dangerous game.  This is an excellent book, I was grabbed from the start, and Lausanne is wonderfully described.  Emylia Hall keeps the suspense going to the very end, and I hadn’t a clue where the tale was going.  A real-page turner, perfect for a cold winters read.

G x

Monday 7 October 2013

All ponchoed out!

At last, it is complete!  I have a bruised little finger as a result of the extra hours put into this project due to the pattern errors, and partially due to my own incompetence in not measurring said garment and realising the pattern was wrong!  Then as I got to the end, and fixed on the buttons, I discovered, upon trying it on, that they weren't large enough so had to take a trip to my local habadashery store to find something else - £6 later I returned with some toggles - thankfully these work and my poncho is complete!

But still, it is done and I'm pleased with the result.  Hopefully I will get lots of wear out of it when the weather turns from this lovely mild temperate to something more fitting of the season.

Trying to take a self-portrait in the bathroom mirror whilst standing on a chair bench-Monday style!

Today I plan on making a Hallowe'en mobile based on the pattern in this month's Mollie Makes magazine.   I've also re-requested the Cherry Menlove book from the library again as I wanted to make the fabric pumpkins from there, but the pattern etc isn't online!  Still, for 35p I musn't grumble!

I've been thinking of Christmas projects and might just tackle something from in here for the girlies.  Problem now is choosing an alternative wool as the suggested brand just happens to be Rowan and at £8-£11 a ball isn't quite what my budget had in mind.  I can see another purchase from Wool4less coming up!

This rabbit hat is the one I'm thinking of!

My Works order finally arrived so I've been avidly flicking through the pages of these books.  So much to do, so little time to do it. 

I've also what seems like a million books to read for the publishing companies that have very kindly sent me out their books.  I need more than 24 hours in a day!  Do you feel like that too?!

G x

Wednesday 2 October 2013

It's not what you are expecting!

Well for those of you expecting a Yarndale post about my time there this weekend, look away now!  That's right, I didn't go!  Instead hubby and I had to journey down to Angmering to fetch Enid back from housing my brother for the past month whilst he was waiting to move into his new house!  So no Yarndale.  It looked amazing but hopefully they are running it all again next year so I'm going to go then - for sure!

The poncho is almost finished, I'm just sewing the neck onto it now so I'll be blogging photos of it soon.  I am also going to be emailing Sirdar to tell them just how incorrect their pattern is.  The lovely lady at wool4less managed to get me another ball of the wool I was using, with the same lot number and even sent it ahead of my other order so that I could finish it as soon as possible.  How's that for service?  I also ordered some more wool from them too, this beautiful pale grey colour - 3 balls for under £10 to make the project below (it's a Christmas present for a friend, but fear not, she doesn't read my blog)!

Inspired by my lovely bloggy friend Daisy Jones and her recent crochet scarf post, I decided to get myself some Stylecraft Harlequin wool too and make myself one.  Deramores had 20% off Stylecraft last week so it seemed the perfect opportunity to get some!  I chose the orange/mocha colour combination and then hunted around for the perfect pattern.  My crochet skills aren't quite up to scarf standard yet, so I searched my books and magazines until I found this cowl in Mollie Makes magazine, issue 11. 

When the wool came, it did look a little garish and not at all like on the web pictures but now I've started knitting with it, I'm quite happy.  I think it will look brilliant with my new khaki parka jacket and it's orange lining, don't you?!

I've got some new crafty books on the way too, from The Works as they had a free delivery offer last week, but they've not arrived yet.

Is anyone else doing Handmade365 inspired by Rachelle over at ted and agnes?  I don't think I can do the whole year as my handmade itinery is not grand enough, but I've done it for the past two days.

My mad March Hare broach from Olive and Harry

My 'made from a bedsheet' skirt - rocking school yesterday!

Hope it's warm and sunny wherever you are.  It's not here!

G x