Monday, 31 December 2012

Ruby

I've only just been allowed to share this because it was a surprise gift for Sian, a colleague of mine, and was ordered by her Mum. Without further ado, I am proud to introduce you all to my latest heirloom bunny, Ruby!

A much loved pattern by Dawn Toussaint

This is the third time I've crocheted this particular pattern, and it always remains a firm favourite! I adore Dawn's patterns, and this one (which she refers to as "Laurel") is always a winner.

I received a message on Facebook a few months ago, from my colleague's Mum, asking if I could crochet a pink bunny for her daughter's new baby, Leila. Of course, I was more than happy to and set to work as soon as I could!

Standing all by herself!

I managed to make her using yarn that I already had in my stash - cream for the body, little lilac shoes and pink eyes. Her little dress is also hand made, using a fat quarter of cotton fabric that I bought from eBay, and embellished with a bow and button for detail.

A lovely pink button, purchased from The Half Moon Bead Shop

I love making these rabbits because they're so easy to customise. Like I said before, Ruby is my third, and each one has it's own personality and style.

Relaxing with the Narwhal I made for Dave, just before I posted her

I'm really pleased with the outcome, and I've received a lovely picture of Ruby with her new Mummy, along with a lovely message from both my colleague and her Mother as well. This is what it's all about for me - making people happy!

Saturday, 22 December 2012

Love The Land

I entered a photographic competition quite a few months ago, hosted by Dorset's Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and titled Love The Land. The theme of the competition, was merely Dorset landscapes, which I photograph plenty of!

I put forward a total of 5 images into Love The Land and received an email this afternoon, informing me that one of my favourite photographs of recent years, had been voted as a runner up in the competition. I've won a Jessops gift card, which will be much appreciated!

SEPULCHRE

I took this photograph in May, and the subject is a little known landmark called The Hell Stone. It used to be a burial chamber, but the Victorians unearthed it and changed the layout! I really do love this shot though.

You can check out the winning entry (by Derek Way) and the other runner up (Martin Gershon) by clicking here!

Friday, 21 December 2012

Cards Galore!

I put up our Christmas cards yesterday! Each year we tac them up on the stairs, and it always looks so festive - I love it!

Merry Christmas!

This is only a snippet of all the cards I have put up, but I think they look great. It's one of my favourite 'jobs' to do each year; kind of like a giant jigsaw puzzle, trying to fit every card together, and it always really adds a finishing touch to our decorations!

In the final countdown to Christmas, do you have all of your decorations up now? Have you finished your present shopping?

Thursday, 20 December 2012

Baubles

I'm hoping that you all have your Christmas decorations up by now, but if you're stuck for inspiration, I have put together a gorgeous selection of crocheted baubles!


Check out the collection by clicking here!

Also, if you are Facebook user, please feel free to tag your gorgeous work, on my page!

Monday, 17 December 2012

A Little More Christmas

I have just got back from visiting my Grandparents, after decorating their Christmas tree! It's an annual event and I try to go over each year to decorate for them - they always have a real tree which is really nice! Apologies in advance for the rubbish phone pictures!

Ho ho ho!

I don't know why I am so obsessed with Christmas trees. I've always loved decorating them and it really adds to the festive mood for me. You would think that I'd have gotten bored by now, this being my 3rd tree this year, but I still absolutely love it!


Red and gold seem to be very fashionable at the moment! As you've all seen in my post the other day, my Christmas tree is 99% gold, with some red thrown in there, so this is pretty much the same. I think it looks really pretty! This time next week, it'll be Christmas Eve! Where has this year gone?

We're Going To The Zoo

Actually, I've already been to the zoo, and in my Christmas excitement, completely forgot to mention it - d'oh!

A close encounter with Jaws!

Last week, Dave and I went to Marwell Wildlife on an outing. It had been years since I'd visited a zoo, so I was super excited and really pleased when the weather turned out to be amazing on the 8th December! Ok, it was pretty cold, but the sun was shining and that's all that matters!

We saw loads of really cool animals; my favourites being the Leopards, Meerkats and Red Pandas! I had never seen a Red Panda up close and in person before, so that was exciting. We both took our cameras along and managed to get some really good photos, which was an added bonus! My personal favourite (of mine) is an Amur Leopard, who was sitting up in a tree watching the world go by...

Shame about the fencing but still lovely

We spent quite a long time at the Red Panda enclosure, taking pictures. Both Pandas were climbing up and down the tree, which was perfect for getting some good shots. I was particularly pleased with this one...

So cute!!

The golden light was absolutely perfect and really brought out the colour in their fur! Of course, all of the other animals were fantastic but I did love seeing the Red Pandas! Another hit was the Otters, which were adorable! They were all sat on their hut, singing and chirping together - it was so cute. Dave managed to get some really good video of them!


I never really knew that Otters made such strange (but cute) noises! I could watch this video over and over, all day...

Anyway, after an awesome day at the zoo, we had some great pictures to show for it and both had a really nice day out! See...I can post about something other than Christmas!

Friday, 14 December 2012

Christmas Wrapping

I'm impressed that I haven't posted about this until now, but I've only just had a chance to take some proper pictures of my wrapping this December! It's really beautiful, and I'm very proud of how it's turned out. I give you Christmas 2012...

A gift for my wonderful friend, Kelly

As you can see, it's rather extravagant this year! I was really concerned that I wouldn't be able to achieve the idea that I had, but all was well and they look exactly as I imagined. So how did I get it all together...?
Decadence, by House of Fraser

My wrapping paper of choice this year was a gold damask design called Decadence, which I bought from House of Fraser. It was pricey but I really liked the design and wanted to use something really opulent and luxurious this year, as opposed to last year's festive traditional theme. This paper ticked all the boxes so I bought a few rolls to keep me going!

Next up, I needed to think of a colour combination. I didn't want red and gold, that was definite, and I found some lovely organza and satin ribbon in my local garden centre, which I thought would match nicely, and from that moment the colour theme was gold and purple!

Finishing touches

I don't like plain ribbons and lovely embellishing my gifts in different ways - last year it was red jingle bells and wooden tags. This year, I wanted to keep up the luxurious feel and purchased some miniature pearl floristry sprays. Each spray has four pearls, threaded onto gold wire, so for larger presents I doubled up the sprays to give me extra pearls!

Single pearl spray

I also purchased some 6mm gold jingle bells, to add on to each spray as a finishing touch. I was so pleased with the outcome of last year's read jingle bells, that I wanted to try and replicate it to match my theme for 2012!

Threaded bell

I'll be the first to admit that it was a complete fluke that the bells are almost exactly the same size as the pearls on each spray - an added aesthetic bonus!

Die-cut gift tags, by pommedorcards

I spent ages trying to find tags that would match my paper - everything had motifs and strange patterns on and I bought these die-cuts as a last resort, from eBay. I'm now really glad that I did, because they really add something special to the finished presents! Each tag is glittered and has small punched out floral emblems on the corners, which I wasn't fond of at first, but now really like!

It was then just a case of tying my ribbon to the desired length and position on each present. I always like having the bow to the left side of the gift; I think it looks nice off centre, like that. Before tying each bow off, I threaded the spray (complete with jingle bell) through the knot, and then finished the bow. Each gift tag is wired into the bow by the tails of the sprays, and then cut to a short length after twisting them into place! I really liked not having to buy gift tag string, as it really bugs me when it's too long/short! All that was left to do was put all of my gifts under our Christmas tree, which I decorated yesterday!

Many presents, and a golden tree

We are now feeling very festive at home! Our stockings are up (I will take photos when we have holly on the fire place) and of course our advent calendars, lovingly made by my Mum. It all looks lovely and I really can't wait for the big day now, so everyone can unwrap their presents and see what I've bought! However, first we have my Dad's birthday, which is tomorrow. Then it's the count down to Christmas Day!

How does your wrapping look? Have you finished your shopping? What colour theme have you gone for this year?

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Chocolate Pudding Muffins

Last week, I put on my chef's hat and decided to whip up some muffins. I found a gorgeous recipe in the free edition of the Asda magazine ( December 2012 ) so went all out and tried to replicate it as best I could! I'm not a natural baker - infact, despite being a very competent cook, my cakes are absolutely awful - but I did my best. I give you, Christmas Pudding muffins!

Chocolate puddings!

I used really rich 70% cocoa solids chocolate, which was delicious, along with dark chocolate chips as well! I'm really not a fan of Christmas Pudding (I really hate anything with currants, raisins, and all that jazz) so these are a great alternative, and they'd also make awesome gifts!

Many muffins!

The white chocolate "cream" could have been neater, but overall I'm really happy with the outcome of my little muffins, and although they were a little heavy, they tasted great. I really have no idea why I am so bad with cakes...alas, they looked good so I'm pleased. Hooray for Christmas baking!

Ho Ho Ho

We had the reindeer prepping a few weeks ago, so now it's time for Santa to take his turn!


Check out the collection by clicking here!

Also, if you are Facebook user, please feel free to tag your gorgeous work, on my page!

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Bargain of the Year

I was browsing eBay again the other day (yes, today's posts have all been about my eBay browsing sessions haha, sorry!) and stumbled upon a lot of 8 K&Company scrapbooking embellishment sets, by Isabella Grace. I've had my eye on the set Butterfly & Flowers for a while, and managed to find a pack for £3.25 during my hunt, which is about 90p below their usual retail price - not a bad deal. Anyway, this particular set was included in this lot of 8 packs, and the starting bid was a mere £1.99 so I had to get in there and put a bid in!

Isabella Grace collection

A few days later, I found that I had won the set and was extremely pleased. I was even more pleased when I found that no other bids had been made, and I had just purchased all 8 sets for just £1.99! What makes this deal even sweeter, is that this bundle has a retail value of over £32.00! As you can tell, I'm thrilled, and I not only got the Butterfly & Flower set that I had my eye on, but I got it much cheaper and with 7 other items! They arrived today and are absolutely drool-worthy! Bargain of the year, in my books. It's so rare I stumble upon these things but I'm chuffed to bits about it!

Recycled Cotton Yarn

During one of my eBay browsing sessions, I stumbled upon one of the most amazing yarns I've seen in a long time!


The yarn comprises of recycled cotton, which is similar to Sari silk yarn, and is made from the loose ends and offcuts of fabric, in India. It's a beautiful recycled product, which I absolutely love!


I have my eye on the green shade in particular, which I intend to purchase in the future and make a blanket for Dave! I'm going to buy a single skein (£2.85 from Alternative Artisan on eBay) so I can see how it is to work with, and if I find it's workable I will get some more and make a blanket! When I've finished everything else on my list, that is...


Definitely a really stunning alternative to normal yarn though - you could use this in so many different projects, and I'm definitely going to become a customer in the future!

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

O Christmas Tree

My Facebook feed is currently crammed full of beautiful Christmas trees, sitting in all of my friends' homes! I'm so jealous. In my house, we don't put our decorations up until after the 15th December, my Dad's birthday, because he hates it to be Christmas before then! So for now I am having to make do and look at everyone else's. If any of you would like to share your own trees, feel free to send me a photo; I'd love to see! Here's to celebrating the good old Christmas tree - another step towards the big day!


I'm even giving you the additional bonus of a pretty Christmas carol this week. Enjoy!


Check out the collection by clicking here!

Also, if you are Facebook user, please feel free to tag your gorgeous work, on my page!

Thursday, 29 November 2012

Baby Shaz

I was just going through the address book, looking for a number, and this fell out...

8 months old

I asked my Dad why it was there, and he told me that it's always been there. We've had loads of address books over 23 years, and apparently every time my parents get a new one, this photo goes straight in there! I have no idea why. I think it's a lovely tradition though, although I will admit that I was shocked seeing an 8 month old me fall out of the book, first thing in the morning!

I love family traditions...

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Hamper Building

I have made Christmas hampers as gifts for the last few years, for various friends and family, and I'm doing the same this year for Dave's parents. I think hampers make really nice presents and they're so easy to personalise as well! Today I bought a few pieces in town, in one of my favourite deli's The Fridge!

Christmas goodies!

Included above are:
  • Orange chocolate gingerbread stars
  • Jam and marmalade selection
  • Dessert chocolates (by House of Dorchester)
  • Oat & Honey Dorset biscuits (by Moore's)
  • Cheddar wafers
  • Pheasant and Champagne pâté
This is to go with a bottle of wine, and a tartan cat doorstop I bought last month. So far it's all shaping up really nicely. I have more bits that I want to add to the hamper, along with a present each for their dogs and cat, so when it's done it should look fab. Which reminds me, I need to buy some shredded tissue for the filling. I really like buying local items though - can't beat it!

It was cold today, so I wrapped up warm for my walk into town! I only got 3½ hours sleep after my night shift today, so I was shattered. Really wanted to stretch my legs though, so a brisk walk into town with my Dad was exactly what the doctor ordered! Meant I got to wear my yummy new scarf too!

Feeling tired and lacking in makeup...but I love my scarf!

I love this time of year, when you can whack out the Winter woolies. I absolutely love scarves and this was an absolute bargain - £13 instead of the RRP of £35! Love the colour too!

An evening in November

I leave you with a beautiful sky picture, that I took on my way home. I love the sky, and it looked really great tonight! Such a nice change from the recent flooding!

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Rudolph & Friends

It's that time of the year where Santa will be keeping his reindeer to a strict exercise regime, if they want any chance of making it to everyone in the world on Christmas Eve! With less than a month to go until the big day, excitement is building at the North Pole!


Check out the collection by clicking here!

Also, if you are Facebook user, please feel free to tag your gorgeous work, on my page!

Friday, 23 November 2012

Christmas Stamps

As you all know, I am an avid Postcrosser, and have nearly been doing it for a year now! In (almost) 365 days, I have sent 178 postcards to 30 different countries. It's definitely one of the best projects I have ever joined, and I'd highly recommend it to anyone - it's so much fun and I absolutely love receiving such happy post from all over the world. It definitely beats bills!

I went into town yesterday to buy some more local cards, and was disappointed to find how few there are about at the moment. That's the problem with seasons, I suppose - Winter hits and all of a sudden we lack in postcards! However, I did manage to buy some lovely new Christmassy stamps to put on my cards!

87p international stamps, by the Royal Mail

Our Christmas stamps are so cute this year! And it makes a nice change being able to use a pretty stamp, rather than the generic silhouette of the Queen's head. I receive such beautiful stamps from all over the world (Finland in particular...you have amazing stamps!) so it's nice to send something pretty in return. I have written 5 postcards today and am about to go and post them to their destinations - Germany, Russia, Finland, Belarus and Malaysia!

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Stockings Galore!

Ok, I actually can't contain my excitement for any longer - I am going to have to break. It's Christmas next month! And I'm more than my fair share of excited!

I absolutely adore Christmas and have wanted to share decorations and gifts with you for the last few weeks but didn't want to bore/annoy you all with my silly festive ramblings in the middle of November. However, now with just over a month to go, I figured I could start babbling on, and sharing some lovely Christmas items with you all! You need time to prepare, of course! This week, I have opted for some beautiful stockings for you to feast your eyes on.


Check out the collection by clicking here!

Also, if you are Facebook user, please feel free to tag your gorgeous work, on my page!

Friday, 16 November 2012

That Autumn Feeling!

Last weekend, Dave and I decided to go for a little walk in some local woods and a nature reserve, and I couldn't resist sharing some photos with you all. Autumn (or Fall) is my favourite time of year and always had been! It never fails to impress me and you can capture some lovely photographs during this season!


How could anyone resist taking pictures of those beautiful golden leaves! Beech trees, like the lovely example above, are always fantastic during Autumn. They turn such lovely colours, and it was great to wander around in the leaves.


The light was a little bright (basically meaning I was too lazy to adjust my camera settings) in some places, but I still managed to take some nice pictures, and thoroughly enjoyed just going for a walk for an hour or so.

Me taking a photo of Dave, taking a photo of me!

And there concludes why Autumn is awesome. I'm going to take this chance to wish any American readers a Happy Thanksgiving, incase I forget by the time it comes around! I think it's November 22nd, or am I way off? Either way, enjoy!


Much love from a lovely British Autumn x

Children In Need

I should have posted this up on Tuesday but haven't gotten round to it. Anyway today it is Children In Need! A charity event aimed at raising money for...well...children in need! For those in the US who may not have any idea what I'm talking about, the charity's mascot is "Pudsy Bear"; an adorable little yellow teddy, with a bandaged eye.


The charity does a lot of good and you can find out more about their amazing work, and even donate, by clicking here!

Now for some treasury teddies!


Check out the collection by clicking here!

Also, if you are Facebook user, please feel free to tag your gorgeous work, on my page!

Friday, 9 November 2012

Many Cosy Mugs

So, I have just finished my five mug cozies, which I will be giving to friends for Christmas! I'm really pleased with the outcome and I love the colours.

Buttons!

I've got a different colours for each friend, although I haven't decided who will receive which colour yet. I went out earlier and bought buttons for the remaining four cozies and I think they look fab, so I'm really happy with the outcome. I've made a rough estimate that each cozy has cost me about £1 to make, which is awesome!

Five cozies

I love this yarn. I would recommend Sirdar Crofter DK to anyone. It's just beautiful to work with, and as you can see, has some really cool results when it comes to marbling and patterns.

Glendale 0038, edged with Hound Dog 0053

So now I need to find something else to make with Crofter! So many possibilities, and I'm sure I'll come up with something. However, right now I have a new project to begin, and really need to finish a couple of old ones. The dilemma of which to start first though - new project needs making by Christmas, old project can wait but is taking up space in my room...decisions decisions...

Writing Novels

This year, I am participating in NaNoWriMo, and attempting to write a 50,000 word novel in just 30 days! It's quite a challenge (and it's why I'm posting this week's treasury on a Friday) but I'm hoping to succeed with some willpower! Anyway, I've found some lovely writing accessories for you to enjoy, and help any other Wrimo's on their way!


Check out the collection by clicking here!

Also, if you are Facebook user, please feel free to tag your gorgeous work, on my page!

Sunday, 4 November 2012

Mug Cozy

So I've spent my evening crocheting up a mug cozy, as I thought it'd make a really nice and cheap Christmas present for friends and family. They're easy to make, and so cute! I'm really pleased with the outcome!

Toasty and warm!

I opted for Sirdar Crofter DK, in Rambler Rose 0059 for the main shade, and edged with Erskine 0032 to finish it off and contrast with the pinks and purples in the main section of the cozy.

Pretty pink buttons

I was also fortunate enough to stumble upon some buttons I had completely forgotten about, lurking in one of my bags of stuff! So I layered up the two shell flowers to get a nice colour contrast.

Cosy cozy!

The pattern is worked almost entirely in double crochet, which I always like working with. And the yarn marbles so beautifully!

Missing it's mug!

I am debating whether to add an appliqué to this particular pattern, because I was originally going to be making owl cozies, with the first pattern I found. However, I think it's really pretty on it's own so I'm going to finish making some other colours and then I'll work out whether I want to add an owl into the mix or not!

Anyway, on to the pattern - it's a fantastic freebie from Ravelry, by a designer called Marion Hassold. You can find it and try it out for yourself here! The only change I have made, is using a DK (and not a chunky) yarn, and had an initial 50ch instead of the recommended 27ch. It's all depending on the type and size of the mug you are making it for though, and really easily customisable!

Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Ghosts and Ghouls

 Happy Halloween!


Check out the collection by clicking here!

Also, if you are Facebook user, please feel free to tag your gorgeous work, on my page!