Tuesday 31 January 2017

Things that made me smile

One day last week Jo, who blogs at Through The Key Hole wrote a post about her favourite things in January.  I thought it was a great idea, and to round off this first month of 2017 I thought I would share with you some of the things that have made me smile during this dull and dreary January.

My Amaryllis

How it looked last Monday

And now a week later!!

Since I posted about this last week it has shot up probably double the height in a week!
I love looking every morning to see how much it's grown and it always makes me smile.
Not long now to wait for that (hopefully) lovely white flower flower :-)


I've shied away from exchanges in the past, but I enjoyed gathering all the little presents for the 12 Days of Christmas Swap so much I took the plunge and joined in two Valentine swaps.
One of my parcels is already on it's way and the other one is all wrapped and ready to post tomorrow. 


It was our first Reading Group meeting of the year last Saturday and as well as our group choice we are all taking part in another reading challenge one of the ladies found on line.

Our first choice is A Book Chosen by the cover alone.  I spent some time on Amazon just scrolling through books when it was quiet at work one morning and this one caught my eye.

How could I not be drawn to this, lol
I had absolutely no idea what the story line is, I just went with the cover :-)

Saving Challenges

I mentioned the 52 week saving challenge a couple of post ago and I'm happy to say that I have added to my pot every week of January and I am crossing the amounts off  as I feed my Jar :-)

I also started a smaller challenge I found on Skint Dad's site, the 365 pennies - Saving Weekly Challenge.  I'm not saving just pennies though, I don't fancy bagging all those up and taking them to the bank at the end of the year!  

My 3rd jar is my 'Money I have Left In my Purse on a Thursday Jar' 

I always used to pay for our food shopping on the debit card but since the beginning of January I've drawn out cash for grocery shopping and I've found that I can keep track of what I'm spending much better, I'm more conscious of what I put in my trolley and  I am spending less money each week.  

On Thursday nights I empty my purse (minus the coppers) into the jar.
I've had as much as £30 and as little as £5 left  but it's all gone in the jar.
I have no plans for the other savings, but this one will go towards any foodie extras at Christmas.

It might sound silly, but it's made me feel happy to spend and save actual money rather than use my card.
I'm determined to try and keep it up :-)

Discovering a new tea, this one i picked up in Aldi
The taste is not over powering, Just a hint of coconut, very nice.

January has been rather a wet and grey month, but looking back it's nice to see that there have been things worth smiling about.

Tomorrows new month means that I get to change my mantle to things of love :-)

Until next time


Monday 23 January 2017

First Christmas ornament of 2017, (only 11 more to go)

I'm doing a Christmas ornament SAL with a few friends on Facebook this year, the first suggested theme was 'snowman'.   I sorted my chart, threads and fabric out over Christmas and started stitching on January 1st and finished it quite quickly but put off making it up until last week.

I don't really enjoy the process of making up and since I don't think I made any ornaments up last year i'm out of practice, but he came out ok in the end.

Lizzie Kate Snowman #10

When I went to the Needlecraft Haven meet up back in November this chart was amongst some that the ladies had bought along to either swap or give away.  I think this one belonged to either Justine or Julie? not sure, but as it was gifted to me I would like to pass it on.

If you are interested then please say so in the comments and I will do a draw next Monday.

I don't mind where in the world you live but please don't enter if you don't really want it.  
When I offered the Mollie Makes issue up for free on my blog a while ago the person who wanted it never answered my email, 
(that MM issue has now gone to someone in my book club, I think I waited a reasonable time for her to respond).

My Amaryllis is growing, Yayyyy.

Last year I had a dud bulb.  No stem, nothing, so I threw it away.

But this year I have 2 stems :-)

I love marking the progress of these plants, they grow so quickly once they start.
I went for a white one this time, this is how it should look.

That's it for now I think, Oh, I did finish stitching Elizabeth (Carriage House Samplings), but I haven't taken any photos of her yet, I only finished on Friday, so that's something for next time. 

Until then

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