Thursday, 31 January 2013

Wellington Boots

Some days call for a pair of wellington boots, a couple of extra layers to combat the bracing wind and a gentle stroll around the fields.The sun is shining and Spring is beginning to rear its head. I'm ready for this new season.

It is so relaxing to venture out into the sun with nothing but a camera and a sense of adventure.

Monday, 21 January 2013

Snow #1

Over the weekend we were bombarded with snow flurries and I actually managed to take some pretty photos of the snowy landscape around my home county of Northamptonshire. Dave and I travelled back, despite a whole host of warning announcements, for a family birthday. I shared some photos of the picturesque village of Rockingham during the Summer and I have to say, the valley sure does look different when bleached by the blizzard.

These boots were a Christmas present, bought in anticipation of the snow (from Primark). They are fantastic!

Rutland valley is always beautiful.

Natural juxtaposition

I also managed to get a quick photo of Mr Robin. He's been visiting our garden for a little while now but Robins are such pesky birds to get a good photo of. He looks like a big sphere when there's snow upon the ground.

Tomorrow I plan to have a wander around the local area (back in Cambridgeshire) and I'm hoping there'll be plenty of photo opportunities.

Saturday, 19 January 2013

Frugal or Frivolous?

This weeks wishlist is a little different. Each of the items upon it are under £40 but bought together they would equate to more than that price limit. I saw them upon the Debenhams website and couldn't stop picturing them upon a pretty dressing table within the bedroom.

1 - Royal Doulton Photo Frame  £14
2 - Royal Doulton Clock  £16
3 - Royal Doulton Tray  £12
4 - Royal Doulton Vase  £16
5 - Royal Doulton Lidded Dish  14

The dusky blue colour is fantastic with that classic polka dot pattern and dainty touch of gold sparkle. I think the little vase or dish would be my first purchase from the set.

Thursday, 17 January 2013

Another Step

I've gotten a step further with the granny square blanket. All of the squares are stitched together now so it's definitely beginning to resemble a throw, which is good, but I'm still a little unsure about whether to add a final row or not.

The colours have come together really well and the size is just what's needed to cover a double bed. Each square is 22 rows wide using a 5mm hook and double knit wool, with nine squares in total to make the full blanket. I then slip stitched the squares together to get to this stage.

Here's a glimpse of the ends I amassed whilst making the finishing touches. There is something quite satisfying about seeing this pile of coloured threads as darning the ends is always so tedious, yet a vital part to complete a project.

I'm pleased to have it done this week as the weather is still being very chilly and it's a welcome layer for night time comfort.

Tuesday, 15 January 2013


It seems that the mild weather has subsided and winter has finally caught up with England. All this calls for is a big comfortable cardigan, some knitted leggings and quilted slippers when it's time to get snuggled up at home.

I've also decided on the layout for the granny square blanket so it's time to slip stitch them together. I think I'll also add a final row of granny squares in cream to the edge.

P.S: All of the snow has melted away so I've no pretty white landscapes to share. Next time I'll be sure to take photos whilst there's still a snowy blanket upon the ground.

Monday, 14 January 2013

Crocheting Cables

I've always admired cable knit items, such as big chunky jumpers or lusciously thick blankets, however I've never been much of a knitter. I mean I can knit but it was never something I had a thirst for. Then I discovered cables for crochet and I've been researching ever since! My idea is to create a blanket and two little matching cushions (seen as I already have the inserts!) in a mustard colour.

I quickly found a host of crochet patterns; although I think this will be the one I endeavor to complete. It's quite straight forward but still creates that cabled appearance, which should be a good venture for a first time project of this nature.

LW1558 crochet cable afghan    close-up of crochet cable afghan

For some more simplistic coaching I've been using the About website which details how to cable using all sorts of stitch counts and techniques. From the look of the pattern I think this web page will be most useful. 

One thing stands between me and this project however - finishing off that granny square blanket! This should be a good enough push forward though.....hopefully. I would be extremely thankful for any further websites or page suggestions that will help with crocheting cable, along with any cable projects in the process of completion. Please do share!

Friday, 11 January 2013

Frugal or Frivolous?

This weeks wishlists are for the living room. There are always so many pretty decorations and accessories for the home that I constantly have a growing list of desires. Here are a few of my more recent finds, again sticking to either under of over the £40 marker.

1 - Next House Lamp  £30
2 - Ikea Mini Greenhouse  £12
3 - Iogii Oversize Doily Blanket  £35
4 - Dziergalnia Pdf Rug Pattern  £4.80
5 - Ikea Candle Holder  £2.50
6 - Next Cushion  £22
7 - Bliss & Bloom Candle Holder  £10.74
8 - Smith Ceramics Set of Coasters  £6

1 - The Wool Company Blanket  £53.10
2 - Next Terrarium  £45
3 - Skydancer Collection of Glass Baubles  £7each
4 - Bliss & Bloom Wall Lamp  £50
5 - Next Pouff  £120
6 - Greenheartrugs Ombre Rug  £80.06
7 - Helkat Design Hare Cushion  £55

We have a palette of earthy tones with plenty of natural materials such as knit and wood within the living room. I can just imagine that Bliss & Bloom candle holder with a few succulent plants within it, instead of tealight candles and the Next terrarium is just fantastic. I'm definitely thinking of adding a touch of mustard to the room, although I might have a future crochet project up my sleeve to see to that!

Thursday, 10 January 2013

Teeny Tiny

Yesterday I picked up this teeny tiny easel and canvas from a nearby garden centre. It is so sweet but perfectly formed and fully functional too! Need to have a think about what to cover this little white space with. Maybe some fabric or an original painting or even a photograph. Hmmm, decisions decisions.

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Decoration - Bedroom Edition

Over the past few weeks we've had a couple of changes made to the decor of our home. The stairs / landing and bedroom carpets were in dire need or replacing and so it was wonderful to get the go ahead from our landlady to do so. The same was to be said of the wallpapers that we had in our living room and hall / landing space. Our landlady graciously decided to have these updated too which is absolutely fantastic.

So, we went from a dreary yellow half painted, hall wallpapered theme in our living room to a bright cream painted finish, and from a half painted, half pale blue 80s design wallpaper on the landing to the same clear shade of cream all over. This has made such a fantastic difference as the rooms feel so much brighter and spacious than they did before. It's also meant we can really stamp our mark on them. As for the flooring, we now have a lovely seagrass carpet on the stairs and landing and a cherry wood varient laminat in the bedroom. 

I have been really enjoying spending some time and effort on decorating these rooms, but today I want to share the new bedroom space. Due to the raspberry toned carpet that used to occupy the room, we were quite limited with what colours we could accent with. However, with the new wood flooring we had free reign and we decided upon a blue base colour with touches of rose pink and lime green. Here are the before and after shots:

As can be seen, we've changed the layout of the furniture to open up the free wall to the left of the room (when looking in from the door) as I've ordered a little dressing table to house all of my jewellery trees and perfume etc, although it's yet to arrive. The branch hanging from the wall holding my necklaces is a simple DIY that I will share later on in the month. The orchid is still on the windowsill with a figure that was given to us as a house warming present. Both the curtains and bed set were bought from Argos when our colour scheme was chosen and the lamp shade is from TKMaxx. I will also be adding my crocheted granny square blanket to the bed once it's all finished up.

Above are some of the details from the room. The collage is on the wall opposite the bed, as is the stool with TKMaxx blanket and thrifted cushion, and includes my hand embroidered hoop art, blue butterfly and little wooden dolphin (on the string) from a university trip to the Amazon rainforest in Colombia, a photo collage of Dave on the beach at Cornwall and an oil painting we bought from St Agnes in 2011. The bunting hangs above the curtains and was a DIY project I ventured upon using ribbon, bought fabric and one of Dave's old shirts.

There we have it. One nearly completed bedroom. I'll be sure to share more photos as things change and the rest of the furniture arrives, but I have to say that I'm rather pleased with it so far. It feels so much more like 'us'. Expect more posts on the other rooms we've changed too!

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

The First Step

There is something so satisfying about a big collection of finished crochet squares. Getting to this state is the first stage of the process. Now onto stretching them all out and stitching them together.

These are going to make a throw for our newly decorated bedroom. I'll be sure to share the details when it's all completed - both of the blanket and the decorating!

Sunday, 6 January 2013

52 Weeks

I've seen a few people writing about a 52 week photography challenge and I'm intrigued to give it a go myself! I like the thought of having a real goal with my photography and producing something that can be fondly recollected after the year is up. After a bit of deliberation it's been decided that the focus for my photographs will be "Dave and I" - be it either a portrait of the two of us or an image that documents something from our daily lives together. I might not always share the photos on here but I hope that the drive to use my camera may also bring along some more appreciated photographs for Teacups and Crochet Hooks. I also hope that my photography skills will improve as the weeks progress.

Here is the first in the series, the title for which is 'Weapon of Choice'. It sums up a lazy Sunday when the light disappears too quickly for outdoor activities to be a potential.

I've never done one of these kind of challenges before and I'm excited to see the results. 

Friday, 4 January 2013

Frugal or Frivolous?

Here are a couple of my wishlists from some good time spent window shopping. One is to emulate a shopping spree with items over £40 and the other to compensate for a preservative purse including items under £40. I've been submerged in the Boxing Day sales over the past week and here are some of my current fashion wants.

1- ASOS Button Front Coat £38
2 - ASOS Patent Ballet Flats £13.50
3 - Cutie Crochet Collar Dress £34
4 - Pepe Jeans Bucket Bag £38
5 - Les Nereides Bicycle Necklace £35

1 - ASOS Hooded Duffle Coat £45.50
2 - Dr Martens Cherry Velvet Boots £70
3 - Whistles Drop Waist Dress £87.50
4 - Ameko Satchel Bag £84
5 - Dower & Hall Garnet Bracelet £53.50

I am definitely loving the autumn / winter colours at the moment - mustard, teal and garnet red. Might have to see if I can justify a few purchases over the next couple of weeks! Stores are really generous with their sales so I'll be sure to keep an eye on my wishlists.

P.S: Listed numbers lead to original webpages.

From Now On...

A new year has begun. I never used to be one to make New Year's resolutions but last year I had a few personal goals in mind and so documented them on a pretty piece of note paper and thus my annual goals were set. This year, I feel the same way. There are a few things I'd like to do and a few emotionally driven aspirations that I have and so I'm setting some resolutions for 2013. A driver for this was that a lot happened in 2012 and it made me realise a few things:

{~} I need to slow down. I have a serious habit of developing an idea, usually it'll be a project, and my mind will race at a million miles an hour and my creativity takes over and I have it all sussed out within the hour. From here I rush around the virtual world and the high street and purchase all of my ideas across the following weekend. I thought that if I didn't do that, it wouldn't be right as the room / crafty work would be half finished. But recently I've really come to realise the need to slow down and savour my ideas. It's ok to have a room that doesn't have ALL of the accessories assembled and life is about collecting pieces that compliment your style and mental image of your home. Otherwise your house becomes a show room, a place where items don't have that emotional connection and don't necessarily reflect your true style. I'm not sure what it was or when it happened but I'm finally prepared to take the more long term track with things and I'm excited about it!
{~} I need to actively appreciate my social connections. Friends may be always in my thoughts and easily contacted via social media sites and there may always be those special occasion meet ups but these souls are there to create a more fulfilled life and I should put more effort and time into spending time with them. It's ok, even when you live an hour away from all of your family members, to choose not to return to the home county but instead visit the residential county of a close friend. I've finally come to terms with the fact that I shouldn't feel guilty about this, that family is always there and I don't need to be sat in the same living room as a family member to show my love. It might be that I'm finally growing up and becoming more wholly independent and I look forward to these new and plan packed months.
{~} I need to sort my thoughts out and apply more time to my creative aspirations. Don't get me wrong, I already spend a good portion of my time doing something crafty but there are always so many things that I think and I then lose as something else comes along. It might be that I need to write these ideas down and I can then come back to them. It might be that I need to pick a craft and apply some solid time to it and thus complete the projects I've imagined. Whichever path I take, I know I will feel so much better and have so many more things achieved.
{~} I need to make my life what I want it to be. I cannot be a lazy person and get to where I want to be or have what I want to have and it's time to start really striving for these goals.
{~} I need to stop worrying about what other people think of the things I do and the life I lead. I am who I am and I like what I like and I should be applying these thoughts to the things I buy and the way I do things. For some reason, I've always had a niggle in my head saying "would 'they' like the look of this room" or "does this look similar to the one in the magazine" but it doesn't matter. If I like something or I want to paint something this colour or I want to wear that then I should. If you have confidence in what you do then it comes across and it's that which inspires a life.

With these new epiphanies in mind I have decided the following things:
1. Make notes and collages of my ideas and use them actively (to improve the home say).
2. Utilise time and money to see ALL of the important people in our lives.
3. Slow down and appreciate the small things within the process of reaching the end point.
4. Look after myself and the rest will follow!

There is no order to these and I'm sure they will morph as I come to terms with more things but I really look forward to using these sentences to develop myself. I also hope that I will continue to have items to write about upon here and snippets to share throughout the new year.

I wish you all health and prosperity for 2013!