Monday, 9 January 2017

12 Days of Christmas Swap - the reveal

I took part in Jo's 12 day's of Christmas swap for the first time this year and was partnered with Jo from the blog A Whole Plot of love.  

The idea was to put a parcel together containing 12 presents for our partner, one present to be opened each day from Christmas day through till January 5th.

I loved shopping and keeping an eye out for things to add to my parcel.

Jo's blog was new to me but i enjoyed reading back through her posts and finding out about what she likes,
I hope I got it right.

This is what I sent......

 .All wrapped up in snowflake tissue paper

 A pin wheel of pins, a cross stitched scissor fob and scissors, a crochet pin cushion
A little book for lists, some fat quarters, and a pattern for making a quilted bag 
 I read that Jo likes teas somewhere on her blog so I bought some teapigs earl grey, some cookies and inside the little hessian bag was the most gorgeous smelling bath bomb, (I hope Jo thought it smelled good too)
 A cute little tea pot candle melt burner, and as Jo loves gardening I thought a pair of gardening gloves would be useful.
I found this cute calendar in TK Max and thought it was very appropriate as Jo knits :-)

And here is what Jo sent to me.

I've never done any fabric printing, perhaps I will have to look into it more.
The Project Calm book has lots of ideas and inspiration, from journaling to scrapbooking
 A cute little book mark, always handy, and little bag.
 Some gloves and a pack of chalk board labels.  I don't know if Jo knew, but I do actually use chalk board labels on some of my storage jars, so these will come in handy
 She made me this cute little project bag, which I am going to dedicate as y sock knitting bag, (even though I have yet to start any socks, but I will people, I will :-)
And she also knitted me a wash cloth
 A pretty coaster and some progress keepers, (at least that what I have decided the are :-)

There was also a bag of Thorntons chocolates which Mark decided to eat before I took a photo and a lovely little ceramic hanging in the shape of a ball of yarn which read 'Eat, Sleep, Knit', I had hung this on the Christmas tree when I opened it and it has got packed away with the decorations so sorry no photo of that.

Thank you Jo for being my swap partner and thank you to the other Jo, who's (blog is for organising it.

There are already a few 12 days of Christmas swap blog post showing up and it's been nice seeing all the goodies sent and received.

Until next time

Friday, 6 January 2017

I want to stitch ALL the things..

And knit ALL the things and crochet ALL the things!!

There are so many beautiful charts and patterns out there, but I have been looking through my stash and come up with some things that I want to stitch this year, I will probably have to buy fabric and thread but I'm going to try and resist the temptation to buy any more charts, don't laugh, i mean it, well for now at least :-)

These charts are in my stash and I would like to stitch them this year.

In between stitching there has to be some crochet, and I happened across this beautiful blanket on Instagram a few months ago and discovered it was in a back issue of Molly Makes.

(photo taken from ravelry)

I went in search, as you do, and found the back issue in question on ebay, bought it and then when it arrived realised that I already had it, grrrr, and then I found it on Ravelry, double grrr
That'll teach me!

So if anyone should fancy this copy of Molly Makes, Issue No. 24 because they like the look of this blanket or just to browse and get inspiration from all the pretty pictures within it's covers, then please let me know in the comments and it shall be yours.
I'll post to wherever.

(If more than one person wants it I will draw names, just to make it fair)

Anyway, the blanket squares are worked in various shades of Sirdar Crofter and by happy coincidence just after I had bought the magazine I met with some crofter on sale at my local yarn shop, right place, right time, for once :-)  

There were 7 balls altogether so obviously there is not enough for the whole blanket but I can add to it as and when, (and if I find it on sale all the better)

The knitting that has made it to the list is already a WIP.
I can't remember if I've even shown it on here before, but here it is so far.

It's the Caramel cardigan, a free pattern off Ravelry.
It's worked top down, which was a first for me but not as difficult as I thought it would be.

I still like it so I do want to finish it.

So those are my crafty goals for now.  Aside from that I've set my reading challenge on Goodreads to 40 books again, I only just managed to achieve that in 2016 but I did have a a good couple of months where I couldn't get into anything.  Hopefully I can avoid that this year.  I've decided I want to read the Lee Child's Jack Reacher novels.  I know there are a lot so i'm going to add one a month to my list, unless of course I completely hate the first one and if that's the case I will just re-think my list :-)

I also saw a saving challenge that appealed to me, The 52 Week Money Challenge.
The idea is to save £1 in week one, £2 in week two, £3 in week three and so on until in week £52 you will save £52.  By the end of the year you will have saved £1,378.

But, I'm not going to do it like that, I'm going to do it in reverse.  For me the summer months and the end of the year seem to be more expensive times of the year so my week started with £52 and will go down £1 each week.  This is just something that I thought I'd challenge myself to do, just to see if I could do it, I've got no plans for the money, as yet anyway.

Week 2 has been added to my pot today.

I'd love t hear if you have any goals for 2017, craft or not.

The first working week of 2017 has been done, and it really wasn't that bad, I'm going to make more of an effort to be positive about it, there are worse jobs, and goodness knows i've done some of them!
So I really shouldn't moan.

Wishing you all the best for 2017.

Until next time

Friday, 30 December 2016

Christmas day catch-up, our own Harry Potter and I'm all the 5's now!

I didn't get round to doing a pre-Christmas post and now we are almost ready to say goodbye to 2016.
The Christmas holiday hasn't really been what I had visions of it being, I had thought i'd have plenty of time to stitch, knit or crochet as I pleased but instead it feels like the time has gone and i've got nothing to show for it.  I can't say that i've even watched anything on the TV either.  It's been a strange one that's for sure.
Tomorrow the decorations will come down and be packed away and it will be time to think about plans for next year.

But, looking back to Christmas day, it was a good one, we all descended on Jenny, James and Oliver this year, they cooked a fabulous meal and it was lovely seeing Oliver so excited over his presents, goodness knows where they are going to put all the new toys and games Santa left!  We stayed until early evening and came home full and happy :-)

One of the things we bought Oliver was a Harry Potter costume, he has watched some of the films and loves them, once he opened this present he wore it for the rest of the day.

We all had a chuckle over how much he looked the part :-)

The girls always put a lot of thought into their gifts but this year they really have spoilt us.
Knowing how much we both love London they gave us the most amazing gift containing 3 envelopes, inside those envelope was.........

 A visit to Buckingham Palace
A gift voucher for a London hotel booking
An E-voucher to Kensington Palace
Breakfast at the Orangery (at Kensington Palace)
A London walking tour, (Kings, Queens, Politics and Power) 
View from The Shard  (O.M.G I'm going to the top of the Shard!!!!!),
AND a three course meal at Marco Pierre White!!!

Oh. My. Goodness!! how cool is that present? I was just speechless what amazing daughters I have.

I'm so exited!!  Although we have been to London many times these will all be new experiences for us.

That they put so much thought into this gift means such a lot to me.  We don't have to do everything in one visit so we are looking forward to arranging a few trips to the capital during 2017.

There was a birthday celebration on the 27th too, Mine!
I have now reach the half way point of my 50's

This time everyone gathered at our house for roast pork and stuffing sandwiches, and of course cake:-)

A lovely grey poncho and a crochet blocking board off Joanne and Gavin
(I got very excited over that blocking board) :-)

The Madame Chantilly chart and the lovely cake forks were from Jenny and James, the jar of squishies were off Oliver, they are mine, and his favourites :-)
The lovely flowers were from my friend Lyn along with a bottle of Amaretto, the Scholl pedi and CK makeup bag and Yankee candle off Stevie and the 'Sisters' figurine was off my sister.
And Mark gave me an M&S voucher which i'm saving for the for year as i don't really like shopping in the sales.

Last but not least, Julie sent me these beautiful knitted gloves.

Thank you Julie for thinking of me, I love them :-)

I really do feel very spoilt both at Christmas and my Birthday this year and few emotional tears have been shed over the generosity and thoughtfulness behind all my gifts.

So that's it for my 2016 blogging, I wonder what 2017 will bring ?
 I've been planning a little of what I might be doing but it's just in my head at the moment, I think tomorrow i will try and get it down on paper so that I've got something to refer to that will help me keep track, some are craft related some are not.  How about you? are you making list of  crafting goals for next year or making some changes or just challenging yourself ?

Whatever you are doing in 2017 I wish you  Health and Happiness

Until Next year

Friday, 16 December 2016

Christmas Markets of the Rhine

This time last week we were in Germany, It was very early start on the Friday morning to get down to London and park the car, but staying overnight in London the night before wouldn't have saved us anymore time really, and the car parking was much cheaper than a hotel.

This was my first visit to St Pancras station and lovely it is too, but very very busy.

(These were taken on the Monday we arrived back)

We set off on the Eurostar at 9am and arrived at the hotel around 5pm, a long day travelling.
We couldn't fault the hotel, (Hotel Pinger, in Remagen, right opposite the railway station), very clean, staff were really friendly and the food was good.  You would have thought that it would have been noisy being right by the railway, but we didn't hear a thing.

(dining room below)

Loved the seating outside

Remagen has quite an interesting history, if you feel the urge to find out more, just type The bridge at Remagen into Google, there is a 1969 war film of the same name, which I have never seen but which has now gone on my 'to watch' list. 

The town is so quiet and peaceful and everywhere is dressed for Christmas, beautiful.

On the Saturday our first market was Koblenz, this I have to say was my least favourite market, we arrived quite early so a lot of the stalls were still closed.  Although the town it self had plenty of shops it was rather spread out, a little disappointing really.

We had a walk down to the river which looked very pretty as the morning mist was still hanging around.

On Sunday we had a trip on the Vulkan Express which was great fun, and Santa boarded the train at one stop

Saturday was Linz and it's Christmas market.
The town was very pretty, lovely painted building but strangely not many of them were occupied as shops.
This lovely green building below was an amazing craft shop

Our last market, and the best one of the three was at Ahr set in the Ahrweiler Valley.
We didn't have nearly enough time to explore this lovely town, everywhere was festive and all the shops were decorated beautifully, I could have spent a whole day there!

I have to say I was very pleasantly surprised by Germany, I didn't expect it to be so pretty, it's definitely somewhere I would like to visit again sometime.

Next week is going to be a hectic one for most of us, and in this house of course Christmas just magically  happens, at least that's what Mark believes, ha, ha, ha.

 I still have a couple of gifts to buy, I know what they are It's just If I can muster up the courage to brave the shopping centre.
I do have 2 days off work next week so that should ease some of the pre Christmas panic.

I wish you all a good week and hope that you manage to get everything crossed off your lists.

Until next time