A little update

As you can see I have decided to change the theme for the blog, have had the same one for about 8 years so thought that it was time for something new, and I get to have a different header picture each time! Hope that you like it and it is easy to use.

Thanks for visiting and following, just realised that I have got 129 followers now, thanks you all so much, I feel very loved šŸ˜‰

 

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Lovely presents

Hello everyone

I have been waiting a while to get some good pictures of the great things I got for Christmas this year.We had a nice sunny day yesterday so I was able to get pictures of my new craft room treats.

You may remember me saying that I had bought a sewing machine themed cotton reel holder and had the matching hook set on my wish list, well guess what my lovely children bought me for Christmas!

Xmas presents 1

This was a total surprise and I was delighted, Ellie said she thought the link on my blog was a hint but it was just really for me to remember where it was from as it was quite expensive and I was going to save up for it. So thank you brilliant children šŸ™‚

I am using it at the momentĀ to hang bags from andĀ on itĀ is another one of my gifts on it, this knittingĀ bag on the left from my brother Ben and his (now wife!) Amanda.

Xmas presents 2

The girls at knitting all thought that we should get t-shirts with this on as it is so true! They got this from Not On The High Street.

Xmas presents 3

My lovely friend Kerry always gets my great gifts and this year she bought me this diary from my wish list. Look at all theĀ quilty joyĀ that is in here.

Xmas presents 4

This rainbow quilt is brilliant and I love the look of the rail fence cushions.

Xmas presents 5

Xmas presents 6

She also, ‘gifted’, me some fabric that she bought some years ago at Harrogate but has never used and I was very pleased.

I would be pleased with Christmas fabric anyway but there at the bottom is the red version of theĀ gorgeous stuff I managed to get five fat quarters of last year at Harrogate.

Xmas presents 7

When I brought it home I was thinking how great it would be if I had some more of the red as well and now I have!

Not much crafting to share with you this week, mouse is still a WIP but I have recently finished another of Jenny of Elefantz’s designs, this one in the variegated thread again.

Elefantz heart stitching 1

I think the thickness of the thread looks really good with the flower design. The heart is cut from some batik.

Elefantz heart stitching 2

Am finishing off the mouse this weekend so will be knitting the cute ballet cardigan tomorrow then need to get some tulle for a tutu so that I can make it up next week.

Hope that you have a very enjoyable weekend, it has just started snowing here so I am staying snuggled under the fleece enjoying my hygge home!

Take care and thanks for visiting.

 

Joining in

Hello everyone, hope that you have had a good week so far, I am so glad it is nearly Friday, that is excellent news šŸ™‚ I have had a lovely week but weekends are always better!

Given that I didn’t actually finish the Block of the Month we started last year within the knitting group I am possibly a little optimistic posting aboutĀ a coupleĀ of collaborative ventures I have discovered recently.

HoweverĀ I am working on the basis that I am doing it more for all of you who read my blog than for me and who knows I might win the lottery soon and need lots of things to fill my time with šŸ˜‰

Anyway being a new year there are lots of great things happening that you can join in with, I am going to share a couple with you now and I have more in my favourites for a later post.

The first one is a mystery knit along being organised by my very talented friend Sarah from knitting group and her equally talented friend Ann. I am definitely doing this one and it will help to have one of the designers on hand if needed!

The knit along is for a pair of fingerless mittens and it is called, ‘On the other hand’, as for each section you get two pattern options, one from Ann and one from Sarah.

MKAL_Ravelry_group_banner_1

The link aboveĀ takes you to Ravelry where you can buy the pattern and join the group and the first part gets released on the 5th Feb.

There are also some lovely free block of the months to inspire me. I have never done any of Lori Holt’s designs but love the look of theĀ Quilty Fun and Farm Girl Vintage and she has got a new design called Bloom.

Bloom Sew Along

Isn’t this quilt just so pretty! The pattern does use Lori’s Bloom templates but I think you could make the flowers without those as well as the instructions are very clear. Picture from Lori’s blog.

Bloom Quilt

The overall pattern is free from the Riley Blake site and Lori is giving step by step instructions on her Bee in my Bonnet blog

The fabric is her new Calico Days range and it really is, ‘bloomin gorgeous’, look at all this, pity I am trying to be good and not buy anything! Again picture from Lori’s blog.

Calico days fabric

I have a whole weekend of lovely crafting planned, how unusual šŸ˜‰

Will catch up again soon, meanwhile thanks very much for visiting.

 

 

 

What I did on my holidays … or what I did in 2015

Hello everyone, inspired by lots of other people doing review of activities posts I thought that I would take a look back at what I managed in 2015.

I don’t do New Year’s resolutions, (except for the perennial one of doing less housework and more fun things), but do like thinking about what the year might bring.

I did set myself a number of goals for that year, 12 quilt blocks with our Block of the Month organised by Helen from knitting group, 26 books to be read and 17 sewing projects from the Sewing Bucket List.

I didn’t get any of them completed fully but on the positive side this means I still have things to work on for this year šŸ™‚

I finished 5 of the quilt blocks and have another one cut out but have been having a few issues with my new machine šŸ˜¦ so need to spend some time sorting that out before any serious quilt making happens.

I have enjoyed the challenge and it has made me a lot more accurate and confident about piecing and if I hadn’t been doing so much other sewing would have managed all of these.

I have read lots and lots of books this year but got diverted from the list so ended up only completing 11 out of the 26.

My current favourite diversion is my discovery of Debbie Macomber, I really enjoyed watching the adaptation of her Cedar Cove series on Netflix in the summer and as usual picked up a couple of her Blossom Street series in a charity shop in Spain recently and am now hooked! Appropriate for a series that starts with the story of a yarn shop.

Blossom street novel

Have ordered four more of these to take to Spain for my next holiday, yes Alison what happened to not buying any more books until all the ones you had were read?

As for the sewing list 7 out of 17 and again lots of other diversions off to stitch Jenny’s beautiful designs and to make lots of medieval kit and a couple of extra things for the sewing room.

Other things I accomplished not on the list, lots and lots of hexagon piecing, my favourites being the pincushions and needlecases with Liberty fabric.

And learning to knit in the round, the wristwarmers and the little knitted pincushions were my first success with this.

The discovery of Jenny’s embroidery which gave me lots of beautiful things to stitch, my favourite so far are her birds, this one is now in my craft room.

So challenges for 2016 then. Well to finish all these lists, to improve my skills at making quilt blocks.

I still have lots of lovely things I want to make for the craft room and think that single blocks to use as mini quilts is probably a better option than trying to make anything bigger.

2016 will definitely be a year of more embroidery and challenging myself to use different stitches.

As for knitting goals definitely lots more of Julie’s little animals, the mouse is coming along very well and love the speed at which I can complete them.

What about you, any challenges that you want to tackle in 2016?

Have a lovely week ahead and thanks for visiting.

Tiny Norwegian Houses

Hello everyone, hope you are all well and planning a lovely weekend. The sun is shining here in Yorkshire and we have blue skies which is a bit of a miracle for January so a walk might be in the plans for later on.

I have always been fascinated by tiny places to live, I have plans to buy a caravan when I retire and some of my happiest homes have been small, bedsits and little flats.

I am currently loving the tiny house movement and all the gorgeous things that pop up on my Facebook feed.

Look at this one for sheer inventiveness, it looks like something out of a fairy tale. This comes from a company called Spa Hungary.

Tiny house resized

I have found lots of lovely pictures on this Tiny House blog as well, love the look of this cabin from the Isle of Wight.

small-beach-house-exterior resized

small-beach-house- exterior resized

When we were in Oslo my favourite houses at the Folk Museum were two tiny wooden houses from the early 1900s, built side by side.

The amazing thing about these was although they were probably only not much bigger in terms of floor area as modern tiny houses 9 people lived in one and 8 in the other.

As always it was the little touches that made it home that were so amazing, these houses had been moved to the museum so they were not the original belongings of the inhabitants but still so beautiful.

Three of the family slept in this tiny loft bedroom accessed by a ladder. The ‘bathroom’Ā was a small bowl and mirror tuckedĀ behind a curtain at the bottom of the stairs,Ā and the toilet was out in the yard.

Norway Folk Museum small house 2

There were lots of space saving ides like these hangings for trays.

Norway Folk Museum small house 1

Norway Folk Museum small house 3

And evidence of beautiful embroidery to make the place feel like home.

Norway Folk Museum small house 4

Norway Folk Museum small house 5

Norway Folk Museum small house 6

Both of the houses had little sewing areas with vintage sewing machines. I have one just like this which has its own table to stow it in. Sadly it does not work anymore but is a very lovely heirloom.

Norway Folk Museum small house 7

Some of the family would sleep on the sofas in the lounge.

Norway Folk Museum small house 9

There wereĀ photos of some of the families that lived there, all in their Sunday best!

Norway Folk Museum small house 8

Norway Folk Museum small house 10

It may seem strange that people now willingly choose to live in tiny houses but I can see why this is such a good idea and most of the people doing it are choosing mortgage free lifestyles either as their first homes or as retirees.

I do love my own house but sometimes I think it seems very big for just me and is very full of ‘stuff’. Why do I need 10 wineglasses when at the most there are only ever 3 people in my house drinking wine at the same time?

Of course the contents of the craft room are exempt as that is not stuff, that is the retirement fund!

Have had a lovely week at work and also managed to get quite a bit of knitting done, all body parts for one rabbit completed and am now onto the mouse which is exciting as I have not made one of those before.

Hope that you have a lovely weekend and week ahead, will be back with some pictures of the lovely presents I had for Christmas, craft related of course šŸ˜‰

Take care and thanks for visiting.

 

Embracing my inner Scandinavian

Hello everyone and greetings from not a wet Yorkshire but a very white one!

We have finally had the snow that we have been expecting for a week and so there are lots of very excited children out on sledges and heading up to the local reservoir where there is a wonderful slope for them to whizz down.

I however will be staying indoors and practising the Danish concept of hygge which I am getting very good at these days.

Roughly translated as cosiness it involves candles, fleecy blankets, doing nice things to keep yourself cheerful in the dark winter days and possibly mulled wine as well. That sounds like a plan!

We visited Denmark earlier this year and even though it was quite light in the evenings by then we loved all the lights in the Tivoli gardens.

Tivoli Gardens lights

In Norway this Christmas the streets were full of light, not only Christmas lights but also oil lamps outside the shops, lights in windows etc. It really makes a difference when it starts getting dark at 3pm and it is cold.

I have also been able to start knitting again! I have not knitted for nearly 6 months due to the problems with tendonitis in my wrist and though I have been really enjoying my embroidery have had an urge to knit again.

It does seem very much a winter thing and I amĀ working onĀ some more of Julie of Little Cotton Rabbits animals at the moment.

I have previously knittedĀ lots of these gorgeous creatures and several extra dresses for them and this time I am trying some of the other animals.

I have just bought some gorgeously fluffy white wool from my friend Lydia at SpunĀ  for my first mouse, just look at the cuteness ofĀ Julie’s boy mouseĀ and those little ears in her pattern!

Boy Mouse LCR

I am planning at least one mouse in a ballerina costume, no-one can resist this little wrap around cardigan from one of Julie’s free added patterns.

ballet_bunny_LCR

I have just bought the cat pattern as I realised that I didn’t have this one and love the plaid dress that she is wearing!

Girl cat - LCR

These are all Julie’s pictures of finished items from the patterns I have bought, I am just showing them to you to inspire you.

I have also beenĀ inspired by seeing all the Norwegian knitting in the Folk Museum so I want to make some little dresses with Scandinavian patterns on.

I love all the Christmas stockings I did a few years ago so am thinking of using some of these pictures for inspiration,Ā there are some lovely free motifs from this site.

Norwegian motifs

I know that I have said this before but Julie really is a genius and her animals are wonderful, if you haven’t ever visited her blog please go and see all the lovely animals she has made, guaranteed to bring hygge to your life!

I think you should really buy her patterns as well as that is double happiness, knitting them and the pleasure when people get them.

I love looking though her Etsy shop at all the designs she has sold getting ideas for colour combinations.

So a happy day ahead for me, I will be doing some catching up of TV watching as well. I am going to watch the first couple of episodes of Jericho this afternoon as that looks very good and then there are the double delights of Walking the Himalayas and Call the Midwife tonight!

Have a lovely hygge time yourselves and see you all again soon, thanks for visiting.

Norwegian Embroidery

Hello again

One of my favourite parts of the Oslo Folk Museum of course was the exhibition of traditional folk costume, the bunad, and some wonderful examples of the embroidery including Hardanger, a traditional type of whitework from Norway.

Norway Folk Museum embroidery 3

There were examples of wool embroidery on costumes and accessories.

Norway Folk Museum embroidery 2

Norway Folk Museum embroidery 5

These baby’s caps were a combination of wool and redwork embroidery.

Norway Folk Museum embroidery 4

There was also blackwork, excuse the fuzziness of the picture below but I wanted to show you amount of stitching on this beautiful head dress.

Norway Folk Museum embroidery 6

Norway Folk Museum embroidery 1

We also saw a bridal outfit like this one below and lots of the beautiful jewellery that is worn with the costume.

Norway Telemark Bridal Crown -small

Norway Folk Museum embroidery 7

There are more beautiful images of Norwegian bridal crowns here , it really struck me how much the head dresses and the silver jewellery resembled the Miao Chinese folk costume that I saw when I went to the Ethnicities Museum in Beijing.

Miao Chinese Folk Costume

We saw quite a few people wearing their traditional costume on Christmas Eve in Oslo, particularly in the cathedral where we went for the afternoon service.

This website has got lots of photos of people wearing their bunads at an event held at the Folk Museum in 2012.

They were also on sale in one of the department stores, with packs of ready prepared shirt material and embroidery patterns.

I was also very pleased as many years ago when we visited Sweden I bought some beautiful metal clasps that I have used for medieval costume. I only have this one left.

Norway cloak clasps 1

But I discovered that they are used in the bodice of the bunad so was able to buy some more sets, I now have two each of these beauties.

Norway cloak clasps 2

I have been doing a bit of research and thanks to Pinterest have found so much inspiration for Scandinavian embroidery. There are some gorgeous designs here

And if you want more information and pictures about the wool embroidery this is an excellent source looking at costumes from Northern Norway.

Well I will leave you know and get on with some actual embroidery rather than just adding to my to do pile! Will be back soon with the last of my Norwegian loveliness posts.

Have a lovely rest of the weekend and thanks for visiting.