Wednesday, 28 March 2012

{ A Snapshot } Blossom

~ Blossom ~

Blossom, blossom everywhere and the air smells so sweetly!

Just standing underneath this blossom tree, you can hear a hive of activity as the bumble and honey bees really make the most of the nectar it has to offer. It's fantastic to see the little workers enjoying the sun and to appreciate that this wonderful flower has a more worthwhile purpose alongside being pretty!

Love and lacery,

Monday, 26 March 2012

{ Over the Weekend }

I was forecast to have a training spree at Duxford this past weekend but thankfully it was rescheduled which meant that we could return 'home' to Northamptonshire and enjoy some family time and....

- Revelling in the heat wave we've been having recently. The flowers are loving it and I'm pretty obsessed with cherry blossom at the moment - it's so sweet smelling and pretty and insect friendly! Isn't that pansy adorable too?!
- Wearing openweave shoes (it's not quite jelly shoes weather) and bright floral prints.
- Partaking in a little shopping. I picked up this foil bunny to add to the spring / Easter items adorned upon the sideboard. Easter bunny from TKMaxx.
- Running around the house moving the clocks forward an hour for the start of British Summer Time. There'll be one somewhere which was forgotten, I'm sure!
- Celebrating a family birthday. It was Torrin's 19th birthday on Saturday although he was working so it wasn't a full blown family event.
-  Rummaging through my Nanna's boxes of crafty items in the hope of finding some spare embroidery pieces. She gave me these two embroidery hoops, a selection of bone and metal crochet hooks (she's never been into crocheting so was very pleased to hand these over in the hope of them being used), some plain linen and a large length of thick and thin laces. I can't wait to get started on some hoop wall art!

There was also lots of usual tea breaks and sweet treats and lazing around in the sun as well as playing around with our new iPad.

I hope you all had a fabulous weekend also!

Love and lacery,

Friday, 23 March 2012

{ Interior Inspiration } Spring Clean

~ Spring Clean ~

It was a beautiful spring day and the sun was shining in through the patio doors, illuminating the living room... including all of the little dust bunnies hiding around the feet of the sofa and table, not to mention showing up dusty patches around photo frames and lamps. Thus, today was a day of spring cleaning! Don't get me wrong, I like to keep things tidy and the smell of polish really does make the place feel clean but no matter how often you partake in chores, spring sunshine still shows the place up. Whilst I was dusting away the cobwebs of winter I also decided that the furniture in the living room needed a shuffle. 

My favourite piece in the room is a large sideboard which houses all of our documents, DVDs, old university notebooks and my paper crafty things. The top surface is also fully utilised to proudly exhibit photos and treasured trinkets. It's a large item made of solid wood and as a result it has a fantastic presence within the space, but it was tucked away in the far corner of the room shielding the sunlight entering through the backdoors (top image, taken a little while ago now). So, with freshening up in my mind, I moved it into its new home - still in the living room but opposite the sofa and next to the door. Now it's one of the first things you notice as you walk in and something you can admire whilst sitting comfortably (bottom image, taken from sofa).

I'm always one to move furniture around in a room to give a new feel or fully make the most of a space (I think it's something I inherited from Mumma). Now I feel so much more settled in the room and so happy that my favourite piece is always in view. I've also taken the opportunity to clear some space on the sideboard to add our Easter / spring items - they're so cheerful. I suspect that this cleared space will always be used to house seasonal items from now on!

Are you one to move things around in a room or maybe you put in a bit more thought to begin with? Have you put out your Easter themed treasures or going to wait a bit longer? 

Love and Lacery,

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

{ A Snapshot } Duxford Imperial War Museum

I've been pretty involved with the Duxford Imperial War Museum recently, for employment reasons, and so it's been a common theme throughout our week. Therefore, it only seemed fitting to share a snap from one of the hangers present at the museum. 

This is a stylistic view of The American Air Museum hanger. It holds the largest collection of American military aircraft outside of America - more can be found out here. There were quite a few other good sights too so I might do a scrapbook post later on in the week to share these also.

Have you been to an Imperial War Museum (there are five in total in the UK) or any other museum recently?

Love and lacery,

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

{ Craft Corner } Embroidery

~ Embroidery ~

Delicate embroidery adds that extra flourish to an item and reminds me so much of Victorian ladies gently embellishing their favourite dresses and shawls. However, embroidery has always been something I've admired from afar, having never been taught the stitches or delved into any related books. But, this is something that needs to change!

Etsy and Folksy are full of items that have been lovingly adorned with silken thread and they're really beginning to inspire me to learn a few of the basic stitches to start trying it out myself. 

Hoop art is another example of embroidery that really adds a touch of colour and design to a space. It can also be a really easy way of displaying your favourite fabrics without having to make a quilt or garment.

After finding so many beautiful items I think it's time to get cracking on learning some embroidery. My nanna has always been one for decorating tablecloths and handkerchiefs so I think it's high time I utilised her knowledge. I received this pretty table mat from my great auntie Edie and it now sits on the bedstead. It's nothing much but the floral and trellis design is so dainty and the colours bright and it quickly became one of my favourites. 

On a similar note, one of my favourite blogs is holding a competition to win one of those pretty embroidered initial necklaces. You can find it here.

Do you know of any embroidery tutorials I should look at? Or have a favourite example of pretty embroidery?

Love and lacery,

P.S: All images link back to their source

Monday, 19 March 2012

{ Over the Weekend }

This weekend was a mix of run-of-the-mill things along with celebrating Mother's Day and a family birthday.

- Doing a bit of shopping whilst waiting for the car to have its MOT. I picked up some flowers for Mother's Day and admired the shiny new cars in the showroom.
- Looking at the beautiful blossom that has started to appear along the roadside. It's just so pretty and spring like!
- We've discovered Draw Something and so there's been quite a bit of playing around with phones.
- Celebrating Mother's Day on Sunday. I took a picture of the presents that Mumma received from both me and my younger brother, Torrin. She was quite spoilt!
- Baking this wonderful bakewell tart with Mumma. It's very tasty and the recipe could be easily adapted to incorporate any flavours - I'm thinking maybe pear and chocolate or strawberries.
- Being lazy with my hair by forming a simple bun and securing it with my sparkly butterfly clip; and wearing my pretty caped cardigan (c/o House of Fraser).
- Wearing my customised necklace. I took a few charms and put them altogether on the one chain. I like how it really expresses my loves and personality.
- Watching the sky change from dark clouds to bright sunshine. It's definitely getting into spring here in England!
- Buying pretty flowers for the garden. I really love Violas and Pansies, don't they look like little faces?! Nanna also bought us this pretty arrangement of flowers (it's in a little wooden wheelbarrow but that can't be seen in the photo).

All-in-all it's been a busy weekend but great fun also. Have you been noticing any more signs of spring creep into the environment? Or filling your time with faimly?

Love and lacery,

Thursday, 15 March 2012

{ Interior Inspiration } Peanut Butter Cookies

We made up a batch of peanut butter cookies this evening, from The Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook and they turned out so well that I just had to share the recipe! We only made up half the batch suggested in the book and emitted the chocolate chips so I'll share the recipe we used to make up around 14 cookies.

110g unsalted butter, room temp
100g caster sugar
100g soft light brown sugar
1 egg
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
120g crunchy peanut butter
160g plain flour
1 1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/4 tsp salt
4 baking trays, lined with greaseproof paper

1. Preheat the oven to 170C, Gas 3. Fan assisted ovens lower the temp by 10-20C.
2. Mix the butter and sugars together until light and fluffy.
3. Add the egg, mixing well and scraping any unmixed ingredients from the side of the bowl.
4. Beat in the vanilla and peanut butter.
5. Add the flour, bicarbonate of soda and salt gradually. Mix well until a smooth dough is formed
6. Split the mixture evenly between your prepared baking trays.
7. Bake for about 10 minutes until golden brown around the edges and quite flat.
8. Leave the cookies to cool slightly on the trays before turning out onto a wire cooling rack to cook completely. They should be nicely soft and chewy.

Hope you enjoy the recipe, it's so straight forward that it's definitely worth a try. Plus, the cookies are taaaasty....

Love and lacery,

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

{ A Snapshot } Mini Daffodil

~ Mini Daffodil ~

The mini daffodil we got for St David's day has really been relishing in the sunlight. It's such a nice way to add a spring touch to the bedroom windowsill.


Have you been adding any spring touches around the house? 

Love and lacery,

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

{ Craft Corner } Baby Blanket

Yesterday I mentioned that I've been doing a lot of crocheting recently and so I thought I'd share my project.

I've been wanting to do some more granny stitch and other more basic stitches and so I thought I'd design a pattern for a baby blanket (I like baby blankets as they're relatively small and so the project doesn't last for too long and they're also really appreciated if given to new parents). It's dimensions are 36 inches square with the biggest blocks measuring 12" and the smallest 6".

I've done a mix of squares in granny stitch, scallop lace and treble stitch in combination with more detailed squares such as the star block in the top right hand corner and the arch design in the central tall block in the bottom row. I also did a small rectangle in the loopy pattern I fancied the other week and added some bunting applique. These designs are open enough to not use too much wool but also thick enough to actually work in a blanket. They're also pleasing to the eye and the scallop lace design is quite intricate which adds a bit of detail.

I went with a mix of yellow, cream and gold so as to make it neutral gendered (as well as wanting to use this sunshine yellow wool, it's such a Spring like colour!) and stitched the blocks together using slip stitch. To finish off, I did a round of treble crochet and chain stitch in alternating form.

I think I might get crocheting on some of the squares I've used but in pinks and blues and purples and greens in the hope of making up some more of these blankets. Have also got another idea for these squares but that's staying in my notebook for a bit longer.

If you've any suggestions or ideas please do share them! 

Love and lacery,

Monday, 12 March 2012

{ Over the Weekend }

Wow, the sun was shining so much this weekend - it was fantastic! It meant that we really made the most of the beautiful weather and got to see some sights.

- We popped into Cambridge (our nearest town / city) and had a wander around the shops. Dave was looking for mother's day pressies and I fancied a bit of a shopping spree. The stalls in the market are always full of interesting and wonderful things - I snapped the beautiful jewellery stall that had far too many tempting items and the Caribbean baking stall that had a whole host of mouth-watering good cakes and tarts. It's also nice to see some of the regular sights in Cambridge - old collages and lots and lots of bikes.
- We tried the oriental inspired soups at Eat. They come with dumplings in a wonderfully Eastern style broth and are just so tasty!
- We snacked at Costa. Scrumbly banana and pecan tea loaf and peach coolers.
- Car trips to various places. On Sunday we went to Bury Lane, our local farm shop, and looked at the Easter themed gifts and freshly baked, locally farmed food. Also picked up a couple of Primroses to add a bit of colour to the garden.
- We listened to some tunes in bed, in the morning before beginning our adventures.
- I've also been doing loooooooots of crocheting over the weekend. I'll be sure to share some photos and ideas on Tuesday in Craft Corner.

Were you able to enjoy some sunshine this weekend? Or visit a local sight?

Love and lacery,

Friday, 9 March 2012

{ Scrapbook } The Drift

I thought I'd share a few more of the photos I took whilst wandering around The Drift and the fields around the village. It was a fantastic day for pretty photos and the sun was being sultry behind the trees and flecks of cloud. These are all taken on my phone using the Lightbox app whilst adds the effect (I always go for 'Georgia' as it makes them look old but it's not as dark as the 'retro' filters).

The little church on the horizon is the St George's church in Thriplow, the next village. Photos are such a nice way to remember an event or time spent enjoying yourself. I hope you all take lots of photos!

Love and lacery,

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

{ A Snapshot } The Drift

Yesterday I went for a wander around the local reservoir, known as The Drift. It was a beautiful crisp spring day and the sun was being shaded by a wonderful array of clouds.

I like the way the trees are reflected in the water and the warm glow that the sun has but you can still feel the coldness of the day.

Love and lacery,

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

{ Craft Corner } Crochet-time!

~ Crochet-time! ~

Quite a late post today! Thought I'd introduce a couple of new crochet projects I'm working on. They're both short term and inspired by spring which means I've still got the hexagon project running in the background. After all, the hexagon blanket will be super thick so not needed till winter anyway!

Project one is using a pattern I used in the past but really enjoyed doing. I have made a bit of a change by making the scale of the new project smaller but it's using the same stitches and idea. The original blanket can be found in one of my first blog posts. I'm going for a baby blanket size this time though, making it quicker to complete, using different motives (I think...maybe alphabet or something) and in a spring yellow. 

Project two is a narcissus brooch. My Nanna was flicking through the new instalments of The Art of Crochet and really took a shine to the pretty daffodil flowers, so, I thought I'd make a brooch for her using the pattern. I suspect I'll make a few combinations and sizes and might list a few in the Folksy shop. This will be a really short term project but it's nice to be doing something spring themed.

Are you starting on a new project? Or managed to finish up an old one?

Love and lacery,

Monday, 5 March 2012

{ Over the Weekend }

The weather this weekend was a real mixed bag and so didn't bode well for trips to interesting places. Thankfully, there are still plenty of things to be done inside away from the rain!

- Admiring the beautiful spring bouquets scattered around the parents' house - they're so pretty! Full of carnations, daisies, roses, lilac and lilies; it really is a feast for the eyes!
- Looking at the rain on the window. Grey skies and puddles everywhere.
- Reading through some magazines and enjoying a vanilla coffee, with usual KitKat. The little pansy cup is lovely (from TKMaxx) and reminds me of summer.
- Wearing lots of blush pink! I've always had a thing for pink and so glad that pastels are "in" this spring / summer. The dress is from TKMaxx and cardigan from Matalan, necklace from Clougau.
- On Saturday the sun was shining so I made a small trip into town. I picked up this RHS flower book - it's crammed with fantastic floral illustrations and poems and snippets of famous flower-related passages.
- Trying out nail varnishes. I fancied a combination of varying red and pink tones.

I hope the sun was shining wherever you are! And that, if not, you still managed to enjoy the weekend.

Love and lacery,

Thursday, 1 March 2012

{ Interior Inspiration } St David's Day

Happy St. David's day everyone! To celebrate, we had a small tea party in our little house. This may not be the most 'Welsh themed' thing to do, but we did have a daffodil on the table.... It's nice to enjoy a few cups of tea in pretty teacups accompanied by a Fondant Fancy or angel slice. 

The little white cups with the silvery bird print are from TKMaxx. They're by a company called Ciroa and are a good enough size to hold a decent amount of tea. The teapot and milk / sugar are from Boots (part of their Christmas line). The little milk jug fits on top of the sugar bowl which I think is a fantastic idea. They're a Twinings limited edition in a cream and green floral pattern. 

I can't wait until the micro daffs come out - it was just a little Welsh themed present for Dave to celebrate a day with which he shares a name. They'll bring a bit of Spring cheer into the house at any rate.

Have you been indulging in any Welsh themed items? Rock cakes or some such thing? Or holding tea parties for occasions?

Love and lacery,

p.s: wishing you happiness to introduce March too!