Sunday, 20 December 2015

Dinosaur

I can finally post about my super secret African Flower project! Yesterday I gave my friend's baby his Christmas present, which included a giant dinosaur, based on the Puff the magic Stegosaurus pattern by Heidi Bears. This is what all those hexagons during the Summer were about!


Because of the size, it isn't the easiest thing to photograph, but I did get a few snaps from different angles!


I started work on my dinosaur on the 28th July and finished on the 27th September, so there is quite a bit of work involved. Making the individual motifs was great fun, and a style I hadn't worked in before, so I really enjoyed that part. As for the assembly, it's fiddly but the pattern is written incredibly well - Heidi is an absolute genius and couldn't have done a better job! I'm so pleased with the finished result as well!

I decided against the Stegosaurus spines in the end. I did originally attach them but wasn't happy with how they sat, so my Steggie became a Diplodocus instead, and I absolutely love him! The colours worked really well (the yarn is the Women's Institute Soft and Silky from Hobbycraft and was awesome to work with). It's super durable and lovely to touch. The colours available are fantastic too and worked perfectly for this project. At only £3 a ball (and on the 3 for 2 offer) it's also a bargain!

I am definitely going to try out some more Heidi Bear patterns in the future!

So there you have it - I can finally share this project with you all, and am really thrilled to do so! He was well received by his new owner yesterday, and will hopefully become a special toy in the future!

Sunday, 13 December 2015

Week 49

Back to Weymouth, and home improvements!

3rd - 10th December

From left to right: our new dining table, there was an ice rink outside the store in Weymouth, more candles, first thing in Didcot, work in the front garden is progressing nicely, my lovely scented candle from Happy Glastonbury, my lovely new Christmas pudding prop, night time views over Weymouth bay, and some serious stairs in my Didcot store!

Week 48

Back to it, Black Friday, and traffic...

26th November - 3rd December

From left to right: getting on my promoting, left my colleague for 30mins while I had lunch and came back to chaos, more wrapping, cooking up some chilli, Black Friday was quieter than expected this year, had ultrasounds on my feet and diagnosed with Plantar Fasciitis, Christmas lights in Didcot town centre, super early starts, and horrendous traffic jams...

Week 47

Back at home, time to relax with a long weekend!

19th - 26th November

From left to right: embarking on my epic wrapping session, Alex cat, cooking up a steak stir fry, lovely Autumnal berries in the garden, rocking robin, ice on my windscreen and lovely golden light, my first time on the Xbox in many years, terrifying gingerbread Santas, and nomming some Halloween glostick candy!

Sunday, 22 November 2015

Christmas 2015

As always, Christmas gift wrapping is a really big deal to me, and I have been scouting out the appropriate paper and embellishments for months now! I finally settled on an idea a few weeks ago though, and today I started putting my ideas into action!


Gift wrap, tags, snowflakes and jingle bells all from Paperchase. Twine reels from TK Maxx. Stars handmade by yours truly, using a pattern from Attic24.

So I had all my bits and bobs and was ready to rock! The first present is always a bit of a gamble, trying to get the look I want, but I'm pleased with the overall effect!


Each present will be subtly different, because of the different twines/ribbons, snowflake and star colours, but the overall idea is the same. Here are a few that I finished...


I also started adding in some wooden stars and ribbon scraps that I had left from other projects, just to carry on mixing it up a bit. I am in love with the star/snowflake/bell toppers though - they look so effective!

Wood and lots of sparkles!

So...now I have started, the next challenge is to finish. It'll be something that I work on over the next few weeks, leading up to Christmas. Hopefully I will get everything finished in time! At least I'm starting early.

Saturday, 21 November 2015

Week 46

From Carmarthen, to Woolwich...

12th - 19th November

From left to right: finally finished this page in my colouring book (and am sooo happy with the results), my new addiction - Neko Atsume, working my Pudsey ears for Children in Need, Dave bought me some flowers, a view over South London, another week and another multistorey carpark, a very quiet Woolwich highstreet, more colouring, and another Christmas prop bought for work!

Week 45

Working in Carmarthen!

5th - 12th November

From left to right: literally the best drink ever, cat in a hat, the restaurant I spent my week in, hello from Wales, bought some insoles for my shoes to try and help with my foot problem, a giant bauble in Carmarthen, Bailey wearing his bobble hat, "long stay" parking spaces in Welsh, and lots of crochet stars!

Friday, 6 November 2015

Week 44

Gardening, cooking and getting ready for Christmas!

29th October - 5th November

From left to right: back in Winchester, really awesome street art in Boscombe at an exhibition, spending some time tidying the garden, our beautiful green space, cooking chilli, my amazing Christmas edition of Good Food magazine arrived, I treated myself to a gorgeous perfume, CHRISTMAS SHOP, and putting my bird feeders out for the winter!

Friday, 30 October 2015

Week 43

Back to work...

22nd - 29th October

From left to right: pinning motifs on my wreath, yellow chillis at Boscombe market, back to work and working the reindeer look, many windows, a lovely roast dinner cooked by the bestie's boyfriend, buying a few new Christmas props for work, reading, the lovely sparkles in my Aurora Borealis candle, and a wet dreary day...

Friday, 23 October 2015

Week 42

Coming home and enjoying my second week off!

15th - 22nd October

From left to right: the beautiful ruined church in Dunglass, enjoying my Autumn colouring book, mapping out the mammoth 7hr 30min journey home from Scotland, having a happy day seeing friends, the new covering on my Christmas wreath project, pressing Dave's blanket, another colouring page, happy blanket ironing, and a visit to a Christmas display!

Thursday, 22 October 2015

Pastel Wreath

Those who follow me on Facebook, will know that I have finished my massive blanket project! Yay!! I will write about it in the very near future, once I have been able to get some decent photographs of it in it's entirety (there is a lot of blanket to fit into one photo), so keep your eyes peeled for that. On a different note, I am able to show you my brand spanking new project. It's in it's very early stages, but I can tell you all that I am making a Christmas wreath!


Inspired by the beautiful wreath by Lucy at Attic24, I decided to throw together a project of my own in time for Christmas (I hope!) - you can find Lucy's original post here and can find links to all the crocheted pieces on her wreath, through that entry.

As you can see, so far I have only made the cover for my wreath. I opted for Sirdar Crofter DK yarn, in #81 Constance. I was originally only going to go for block colours, like Lucy's, but once I saw this in the shops I had to have it. I'll admit, I had my doubts while I was crocheting the cover but I love how it looks nice it's on the polystyrene ring. I have bought a few pretties to decorate it with, and will pick up some more bits and bobs over the next few days/weeks...whenever I see something that I like. I'm going to try and opt for colours to match the yarn, and natural woods, so at the moment I have a collection of beads, ribbon, cut out shapes, bells, and purchased some really cute gingerbread men today (I'll take some photos and share those with you before I stitch it all on).

Anyway, I am off to bed - I keep telling myself to have an early night and then get distracted. I'll try my best to get Dave's blanket photographed over the weekend, so I can share that with you. Night all! xx

Saturday, 17 October 2015

Autumn/Halloween Swap Parcel

The time has come for another swap parcel in the Kittypinkstars Lucha Club, and this time my lovely parcel included gifts from Lou!


Lou was super generous and really kept to this swaps theme of Autumn and Halloween - she sent me some yummy Green & Blacks chocolate, assorted Halloween sweeties (love the Cadbury's spiders!), foxy stickers, an Autumn Garden colouring book, pens for the colouring, a dapper fox postcard, and two gorgeous crocheted goodies - a pumpkin and a conker! Lou runs Yarntistry, so go and check out her Facebook page!

I unfortunately couldn't take more pictures of the unpacking process because I needed to pack for Scotland, but despite the lack of photos, I am sooo grateful for my parcel - thanks Lou!

I can, on this occasion, show you the parcel that I sent to my designated partner, Emma. I don't usually take photos of what I am sending out but Emma posted a lovely picture to the group page so I thought I'd show you all my attempt at Autumn/Halloween!

To Emma, from Shaz x

I read in a thread that Emma's favourite colours were teal and purple, so I hunted down a dreamcatcher for her (bought this one in Swanage whilst I was working there). I also included a stick of rock that I bought on my work travels, and a few postcards. Keeping to theme, I threw in some Halloween candies, a blow up skeleton, an army of spiders (who were hidden amongst the tissue paper that I packed this all in!), an Autumnal fox mug, owly treats, a fairy pen (just coz she was cute) and a pile of chocolate; Emma's favourite treat. The only completely random item was the green jelly drink (next to the mug) which I purchased at my local Chinese supermarket just because it looked cool - I have no idea what it was like haha!

Looking forward to the Christmas swap, coming up in November!!

Week 41

The end of a week at work, and my first trip to Scotland!

8th - 15th October

From left to right: getting to work and finding the store had decorated my kit, The Kelpies near Stirling, climbing the Scott Monument, having dinner in The Dome grill room, us exploring Edinburgh Castle on Monday, a Scottish cooked breakfast (bacon, egg, sausage and haggis!), Edinburgh Castle, my lovely swap parcel from my Lucha partner, and our ghostly tour guide in the Scotch Whisky Experience!

Thursday, 8 October 2015

Week 40

Movies, good food, and friends!

1st - 8th October

From left to right: a few hours reading on my day off, one of the cool story telling paving slabs in Eastleigh, Dave left little notes around the house before he went to work away, watching cinema adverts before seeing The Martian with Kelly, rain rain go away, my incredible traybake, trying to take a photo and having focus fail (can't even remember what this was!), enchiladas after our cinema trip, and getting to break out my lovely cobweb jumper!

Monday, 5 October 2015

Raspberry & White Chocolate Traybake

Today, for some reason, I decided that I was going to try my hand at a new baking recipe. I'm the first to admit that I'm a rubbish baker - I think many failed attempts in the past have knocked my confidence and I am adverse to trying now. However, today I was feeling in the mood and had some pastry I needed to use...sooo...

Raspberry & White Chocolate Traybake

I used this recipe for Raspberry and White Chocolate Traybake, from the Good Food website. It's one that I've had in my favourites for ages, but then forgot about. Today was my moment to try it out!

The recipe is super duper easy, and it took less than an hour from start to finish, including all the prep! After lots of refrigeration, I sliced it all up this evening and couldn't be happier - it tastes gorgeous! I'm so proud of myself, and am feeling confident to make another baking attempt soon. I'll also definitely be cooking this up again!

Aliens

Yesterday I went to the cinema to see The Martian (which was really good!) and then followed it up in the evening with one of my favourite films; Alien!


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Friday, 2 October 2015

Week 39

Friends, colours and a definite season change!

24th September - 1st October

From left to right: lovely blue skies, Autumn colours, an evening out with amazing friends, putting together my latest Lucha swap parcel (Halloween themed!), visiting my best friends new flat, work in Dorchester, I was given a lovely bunch of flowers by Dave's Aunt and Uncle, I want to scream every time I see one of these buggies for dogs, and my yummy meal out with Kelly and Chris!

Thursday, 24 September 2015

Week 38

My first shoot in ages, crochet and a lovely meal out!

17th - 24th September

From left to right: a meal with my Grandparents at The Saxon Arms, lovely evening light in our garden, Weymouth beach, Mummy and Daddy hands, more crochet, Owen working the job of babygrow holding, looking at cute little outfits at work, my favourite of the bump photos, and my lovely long (for me!) nails!

Friday, 18 September 2015

Week 37

Sunny seaside town, and stormclouds!

10th - 17th September

From left to right: all attached, bought a new suet bird feeder, starting my Autumnal poses at work, a very stormy sky over the sea at Swanage, my two leaf colours, funky Morris Dancers at the Swanage Folk Festival, I made an awesome toad-in-the-hole for dinner, on a stormy day there was one spot of sunlight on the cliffs, and more Morris Dancers!

Monday, 14 September 2015

Earwarmers

For when it's too warm for a hat, but too cold to go without anything!


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Sunday, 13 September 2015

Present Making


This year, I really want to make some gifts for people, for Christmas. I started on a project a month ago and am close to finishing (I can't share it until after Christmas though, sorry!) and am now starting to look at other things I can make as small gifts for friends and family. Obviously I will be finishing my longterm project, Dave's blanket, before starting anything new now, but it's nice to look and work out what I want to start on afterwards!

I have found a couple of lovely wreath patterns on Ravelry, and intend to make one for our own home for Christmas, but I'm going to continue searching patterns to find perfect gifts for everyone...hopefully I will have the time to make them! It feels silly starting to talk about Christmas in September (I have started my shopping, to be fair) but when you make gifts you have to start so much earlier to get everything done!

Are you making any gifts for the holiday season? What are you making and who for?

Thursday, 10 September 2015

Week 36

An awesome day out with an amazing friend, followed by some beautiful sunny days!

3rd - 10th September

From left to right: Swanage beach, Dave's Dad gave me three boxes of Jaffa Cakes (oh my god!), beautiful otters at Bournemouth Oceanarium, midweek movie night with candles, a lovely balloon message from one of the ladies working in this week's store, Piranhas, my new meal planner has pride of place on the fridge, waiting for the chain ferry at Studland, and the latest addition to my prop collection!

Wednesday, 9 September 2015

Mushrooms!

I have started seeing mushrooms and fungi whilst out and about - a real sign of Autumn!


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Thursday, 3 September 2015

Week 35

Bournemouth Comic Con, shopping, and finally working close to home!

27th August - 3rd September

From left to right: ivy, having a happy day, I bought some new wooden letters for work, Bournemouth's balloon, my van hiding amongst all the Royal Mail ones at the sorting office, I finally posted my Lidl parcel to my friends in Jersey, a shopping trip with Gareth resulted in a new Cath Kidston purse, I met Chewbacca at Bournemouth Comic Con, and looking down towards the gardens in Bournemouth!

Monday, 31 August 2015

Hot Water Bottles

I have found that I have started feeling cold in the evenings now...it's only the end of August but it seems chilly here in the UK right now! Time to break out the hot water bottles!


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Sunday, 30 August 2015

Week 34

A little closer to home, and some hardcore crocheting!

20th - 27th August

From left to right: piling up motifs, card shops are ALREADY stocking Christmas cards, sky reflections in carpark puddles, one of the lovely street pieces in Andover, finished African Flower motifs are ready for assembly, the shopping centre I am working in is full of leaks, steady progress, look who I saw in Worthing!, and a lovely candle holder I found amidst a clearout =)

Kindle Covers

I absolutely love my Kindle. I was never sure what I thought of them until Dave bought me one for Christmas last year. Now I find it my favourite way to read (I do still read "real" books, but it's so much easier on my Kindle). I'm lucky enough to have my lovely Kitty Pinkstars owl case for mine, but here are some lovely crocheted covers!


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Thursday, 20 August 2015

African Flowers

My current project is based around the beautiful African Flowers motif - there are so many ways you can use these versatile little hexagons!


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Week 33

It's been a long one!

13th - 20th August

From left to right: a visit to the dump, a very miserable day in Worthing, Dave bought a new garden toy, the lovely staff in Sidmouth having a team photo taken, a good start to the day - caramel cappuccino, had to lower my arial in a multistorey carpark coz it did this, my epic journey of 84 miles (each way) for work this week, new fox socks, and up at 05:30 every day...

Thursday, 13 August 2015

Week 32

BBQ, African flowers, and working hard!

6th - 13th August

From left to right: I was sad to find a dead bumblebee in the garden, crazy fancy dress fundraisers in Portsmouth, pentagon progress, a much appreciated Saturday evening BBQ, modern art, the biggest table lamp I have ever seen (costing £650!!), pretty African Flowers, a lovely evening sky, and a dinner outing with my wonderful Grandparents!

Funky Floors

A great addition to any room!


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Thursday, 6 August 2015

Week 31

A folk festival, my fabulous friend, and the usual routine!

31st July - 6th August

From left to right: sunny skies, I met up with my lovely friend Aimee for the first time in well over a year, a very quiet day in Newport IOW, an awesome lunch of reading and raspberries, slowly building up my hexagon motifs, an Isle of Wight pirate...aaaaaarrrrrrrr, I have been eBaying some bits and bobs, Morris Dancers at the Sidmouth Folk Festival on Monday, and a seriously delicious steak and ale pie!

Monday, 3 August 2015

Folk Festival

Today I went to a folk festival with my lovely friend Aimee! We loved watching the Morris Dancers!


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Week 30

A new hotel room, and a working week on the Isle of Wight.

23rd - 30th July

From left to right: intended to go for a beachy walk after work until I saw the sky, new yaaaarn, my lovely Gareth and I, lonely Shanklin beach hut, I haven't been up at this hour for a very long time, stayed out in the rain at work for long enough that my fingers went pruney, newest project has started, the view from my latest hotel room, and my Wightlink ferry passing one of it's sister ferries...very closely.

Monday, 27 July 2015

Bookmarks

For those of us that still read actual books!


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The Women's Institute Yarn

This week I am going to start my next project! Dave's blanket is neeeeearly finished, but I ran out of yarn last night - always the way! So there is another ball of Ecru on the way, so I can do the last bit before the final dark border. In the mean time though, I will be working away on the Isle of Wight until the weekend and needed something to take with me. So I have found a new pattern for a plush, and went to buy the yarn this morning!

Being massively unorganised, as always, I only thought of doing this last night, so I went to my local Hobbycraft store to indulge - I found something really cool and had to buy it!


The Women's Institute Soft & Silky is a 100% acrylic yarn, available only from Hobbycraft stores (and their online shop). There are loads of different ranges available, but Soft & Silky comes in a beautiful spectrum of colours - I bought them all, bar two!


It comes in 100g balls, is 4ply, and is one of the softest acrylic yarns I have come across. Not even a hint of scratchiness, and it feels really high quality. Each ball costs £3, and according to the packaging "a minimum of 5p from the sale of this item will be given to the National Federation of Women's Institutes" - so thats' nice. You can read more about the Women's Institute here.

I'm pleased with this find though, and hopefully it will work well into my new project. I don't want to link to the pattern or anything at the moment, so watch this space.

Thursday, 23 July 2015

Week 29

Weymouth and Winchester, coupled with a whole day of gardening!

16th - 23rd July

From left to right: a shield bug in our garden, Felix's last day at Superdrug Weymouth!, one of the lupins that Dave grew from seed has started flowering, Winchester Cathedral, pretty colours in one of our borders, sunburn-watching in Weymouth town centre, my coreopsis looks awesome at the moment, candle burning in the evenings, and a beautiful birds nest we found in the garden.

Monday, 20 July 2015

Nest

After finding the birds nest in the garden yesterday, I have decided to look for more on Etsy, this morning!


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Sunday, 19 July 2015

Ruben's Blanket

You will all have seen my recent snapshots of the baby blanket that I have been making for our friends Rich and Sarah, for the arrival of their first child! I'm pleased to say that on the 6th July, Ruben came into the world (and he's absolutely gorgeous!).

I finished Ruben's blanket last week and have some photos to share - I'm really pleased with how it's turned out!

A little wonky, but I love it

The pattern I used is the As-We-Go Stripy Blanket by Hannah Davis, and it's beautifully written. I learnt a few new stitches along the way as well, so that was great fun! Absolutely in love with the star stitch!

dc clusters, dc, hdc, catherine wheels, star stitch, bobble stitch and zig zags!

I opted to use a really funky yarn, and chose to work with Lang Yarns Baby Cotton, which comes in some absolutely gorgeous colours. Rich and Sarah didn't find out what gender Ruben was going to be, so I worked in rainbow. I think it works really well! The colours I used are 0016 (lime green), 0116 (green), 0078 (turquoise), 0075 (orange), 0060 (red), 0018 (dark green), 0014 (yellow), 0080 (purple), 0085 (pink), and 0006 (dark blue).

One of my fav colour sections

This project only took me 20 days to complete, which is partly due to it being a baby blanket, but I would love to make a few size one at some point...maybe when Ruben gets a bit bigger!

The pattern called for a ripply edge as an idea, but I wanted to keep things simple and opted for three rows of sc instead. I fell in love with the turquoise yarn so worked two rows of that, and finished with the green. I think it worked really well and ties everything in together nicely. I think it would probably also look really good with a bobble stitch border, as that would make a thicker band, but thats something to try on another day!

So what remains to say - I am still working on finishing the mammoth project that is Dave's blanket, and I won't do anything else until it's done now. It's really close to being finished, and it's been good to have a small break, but I need to crack back on with it now. Can't wait to see it done!


A Much Needed Garden Update

I haven't updated on our garden in months (since the 19th April!) so lots has been going on since then! Dave and I cleared another load of shrubs from the bottom bed by the lawn, which I don't have progress pictures for. However, I can tell you that at the end of May, I started planting up the border around our small lawn section, and we also got a bird bath for the same area. It ended up looking like this...

Bird bath and Gardineas

Tiny Salvias, Cosmos, and Coreopsis

These plants have all filled out really nicely now - I absolutely adore the Coreopsis!

Today we have spent literally all day in the garden doing weeding, hedge trimming, and planting up some new flowers...this is how everything looks now!

This is the same bed, as above =)

Summer colours!

Bird bath area is filling out nicely

Working the jazzy colours!

It's looking so warm and summery now, I love it. There are still a few gaps I want to fill in this bed, and ideally I want some yellows, but all in all, it's looking awesome and I'm really pleased.

Another job today - Dave bought some willow canes and built a little structure to grow his grape vines on. We have moved one vine up to the bed and are going to see how it settles before taking the other one up there (just incase of disasters!). It looks good though...


Hopefully it will settle in ok! Fingers crossed, because they're lovely looking plants and we hope to get some grapes in a couple of years time, when they've matured!

One last bonus for today - whilst trimming some of the larger bushes in the garden, we came across this beautiful old birds nest!


There were blackbirds flying in and out of that bush last year, and at a guess it's a blackbird nest but I'm not certain. I don't even know how long it has been in there. Hopefully the birds will come back and build another one day though!

So it's been a super productive day. We are now sat outside, just chilling in the sunshine. In a little while I'm going to make some dinner and we can collapse for the evening. Hooray for productive days!