YARNY GOODNESS

I am not one to who usually approves of wishing ones life away, however when it is the name of yarny goodness I believe I can make an exception! So, it is with much joy that I can tell you that it is a mere 100 days until I go to Yarndale!

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And, I’m not the only one who is excited!

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I was gutted that I couldn’t get to Yarndale – a “creative festival celebrating all things woolly and wonderful” – last year, so was overjoyed when my Crafting Guru, Claire from BTHQ, arranged a road trip for this year’s event. A whole, long weekend away with follow (somewhat crazy!) crafty folk from BTHQ, surrounded by yarny loveliness…bliss!

To ensure a truly pleasurable weekend, I have come up with a plan to guarantee some guilt free shopping – oh, yes, there will be shopping! I have decided to try and save up some pennies between now and then.  However, I am rather pants at saving…so many pretties to buy *sigh*…so will need some help. I found a post earlier in the year via Pinterest and it was so simple that it has frequently popped to mind.  I am going to use the theory behind the 52 Week Money Saving Challenge to help me save, save, save so that I can spend, spend, SPEND!

I will write a separate blog about exactly how I plan to use this fabulous savings plan, however, in the mean time I will share a little crafty twist that I am adding to it.  Rather than keep a physical jar of pennies in the house to encourage and motivate me while saving, I found another fabulous idea over on Pinterest – Sea Pennies!

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Inspired by this simple crochet pattern, my love of sea glass and the lovely Lucy of Attic24’s Coastal Blanket palette, I decided to finally use some of the gorgeous Rico Essentials Cottons that I bought at the Waltham Abbey Wool Show from ever colourful Janie Crow.

WAWS

Obviously those three, beautiful balls of loveliness weren’t quite enough, so I had to purchase a few more…

Colours

I may also have even more gorgeous colours saved on my wish list over at Janie Crow’s but we won’t mention that!

I plan to crochet lots of Sea Pennies to represent the actual pennies I am saving in my online Nationwide Savings Account  between now and Yarndale and then join them all together on the train journey up there so that I can show both Janie, who is exhibiting, and Lucy who is one of the key organisers of Yarndale while I am there!

So…would you like to see one? I know you would!! Here you go!

Underwater penny

Isn’t it lovely? So simple yet so beautiful, so like the sea glass that inspired me!

Oh and guess what arrived, rather appropriately, today? Yup, my Yarndale Cotton Bag! Woo hoo!

 

WHEN LOVE TURNS TO HATE!

Isn’t it strange how something that we once loved with practically every fibre of our being can become something that we loath with an equal amount of passion?

I hate my bed!

Our bed

When Mr F and I bought our first bed together, it was a momentous occasion! For years we had been sleeping on a bed frame that we had been given by my big sister who had, in turn, acquired it from our bigger sister. To compliment the ‘well loved’ bed frame, my biggest (and only) brother gave us his old orthopaedic mattress. All of this, at the time, had been a major step up from the airbed we had been sleeping on! So, when we finally had the money to buy a new bed frame, we were over the moon.

We purchased an up to date, wooden frame that fitted perfectly into our bedroom at the time (I think from Homebase, but I can’t remember now). We didn’t have spare cash at the time to upgrade our mattress but the fact that the bed frame did not have a bucket full of wood glue holding it together was thrilling!

Sometime later, following the birth of our eldest child and in anticipation of our youngest child, we moved to a larger house. Our bedroom felt huge, previously everything had fitted rather snugly, but this excitement was short lived. Our fabulous, new bed frame didn’t really work in it’s new location. It had been perfect in the old house but now it just…wasn’t! In an effort to improve on the situation, we splashed out and bought a fabulous new, extra deep, Slumberland mattress. It felt like floating on a cloud!

For a while, this extra comfort distracted us from the fact that our bed just didn’t work in our new bedroom. Sadly, this distraction has come to an end for me. I am sure my feelings towards my bed has some bearing on my frequent bouts of insomnia. Add to that the fact that we haven’t decorated our room since we moved in – our daughter’s room took priority, then a new kitchen, then a new bathroom, then our new baby boy’s room, then the sitting room and, most recently, the hall, stairs and landing – I was getting rather down about our boudoir.

However, things are on the up! After attending a lampshade making course run by the lovely Lynne Sharpe at Beautiful Things HQ, I created this wondrous shade to go in our bedroom.

Lampshade

I bought the fabric to make the shade from Hobbycraft and was super pleased to learn later that it is from the Love collection by Amy Butler! I loved the fabric so much, that I went back and bought some more…just because! Luckily, the ‘just because’ came in handy as I decided to make (with a little support from my crafting guru, Claire Mackaness from BTHQ) some bedside table lamps to match!

bedside table lamps

So, where does this leave us? Searching, that’s where! Searching for the perfect bed to lift my spirits and to transform our ‘room’ into a sanctuary of peace and slumber!

Well, I have searched and searched and have now fallen madly in love with this truly fabulous bed from the Storage Bed!

The Storage Bed custom design

Mechanisms

As you can see, this website allows you to design your own bed to suit all your needs. The photo above is the bed I have designed and includes the End Opening Mechanism. I have sent off for some free fabric samples and, once they arrive, I shall begin my campaign to convert Mr F to my way of thinking!

I hope it won’t be too long before my feelings towards my bed are completely reversed – wish me luck!

WE WISH YOU A…COMPOSTABLE CHRISTMAS!

I had the pleasure of visiting RHS Hyde Hall not once but twice this week! Both visits were arranged to catch up with good friends, one who I haven’t seen for too long and one who I just can’t get rid of…only joking…who I see on a more regular basis but with our children in tow, so conversation is somewhat stilted.

I must confess that the second visit was spent entirely in the Field Café catching up with my friend over a cup of their lovely broccoli and stilton soup with one of their super yummy cheese scones. However, on the first visit of the week we popped out to have a look at the RHS Hyde Hall WI Christmas Trees which were fabulous!

Festive Feast of Furs

Festive Feast of Furs

RHS Hyde Hall had invited the ladies of the  Essex WI to decorate a Christmas Tree with the only requirement, this year, being all the materials to be ‘compostable’. All decorations had to be made of natural materials which could be spray painted to add interest and colour. The ladies really stepped up to the challenge and used reeds and grasses, nuts, teasels, poppy and other seed heads, fruits, paper and many more lovely, natural items.

I may have been a little inspired by the lovely trees and taken one or..er..two photos to share with you! My favourites include the little candles made of spray painted clementine skin with a twig and some string for the candle; the Sycamore seeds with rose hips; the wooden spoon angels; and the poppy seed head, conker and chilli tinsel!

Best in Show

Christmas candle Conkers and acorns  Poppy chilli conker tinsle Blue tree Kashew tinsel Monkey nut tinsel Orange peel spiralAcorn cups orange peel tinsel Orange tree Painted beans Paper cup bells Physalis aka Chinese Lantern Popcorn cranberry orange and lime tree Pumpkin seeds Red and white angel tree Red tree Spoon angel Spray painted beans Sweet potato tinsle Sycamore and rose hip holly

I hope you have enjoyed this whistle stop tour around the lovely WI Christmas Trees at Hyde Hall – do try and get along to see them in person!

OH HAPPY DAY!

I feel this week is going to be a good one!

Firstly, the children didn’t go back to school until today and so we, technically, have a ‘short’ week which is a lovely way to start the new half term.

Secondly, I was woken up at 5am this morning by the cat trying to get in to our bedroom – this may sound like a negative but between the efforts of my cat (trying to get in for sneaky cuddles in bed), my youngest (feeling lonely and needing to squeeze in the middle aka hog the whole bed) and Mr F (either waking me up when coming to bed or by snoring when he is in bed), this is actually a lie in, so not a bad start!

After my usual routine of lying there trying to get off to sleep again and then giving up and going on facebook, I had a the pleasure of finding that the very talented Chandi from  Expressions Fiber Arts had posted a fabulous rainbow yarn giveaway! You can find out more details here but, in case the words rainbow and yarn were not enough to get you flying to her blog here is a photo of what she is giving away!

Expression Fiber Arts Nov Giveaway

Part of the giveaway requirements is to tell Chandi why you love yarn, here is what I wrote

“I LOVE YARN! Whether new or old, it’s like holding memories in your hands – soft, warm, gentle, joyous memories of people and times gone by or anticipation of those yet to come!”

Just thinking about why I love yarn, without a bit of it in sight, made me feel really happy and brought a big smile to my face as I recalled all the lovely knitted cardigans, scarves, dolls clothes, even a dressing gown once, knitted by my lovely Nanny. Even though they have all since been passed on to other children, the memory of her giving them to me and the excitement and joy I had wearing them or playing with my dollies new clothes is a fresh as if it were yesterday!

I then spotted that my lovely Cousin Susan who lives in Australia had tagged me in a post.  We have been posting back and forth over the last week or so commenting on various visual illusion photos posted by Craft Corner which you can see here.  As a return challenge for me she tagged me in this photo challenge from Linda Campbell Melton (which she admitted she had needed to use a magnifying glass for!).

Find the black and white cat

In the conversation that followed, Cousin Susan commented out of the blue on how much fun our Nanny, who we have never talked about together before, would have had with these challenges! That, combined with her comment about needing to use a magnifying glass to find the cat, triggered another lovely memory of my Nanny using her white, pearlised magnifying glass to read knitting patterns! My Mum still has the magnifying glass and it is used regularly, so it is always around in the kitchen or the sitting room of her house and every time I pick it up, it is like I am holding my Nanny’s hand.

Magnifying Glass

So thanks to Chandi and my Cousin Susan, I started the day and my ‘working week’ with a rainbow of glorious colours and a warm and cosy feeling as if sat on my Nanny’s lap, wrapped in her arms!

Nanny

FAME…again!

FAME...again!

I am so pleased and proud to have my Attic24 inspired crochet wreath featured on the Hobbycraft facebook page!

I entered their competition for Make of the Month (there is still time for you to enter this month’s competition, just get your photo in by the 30th of April 2013) ) and the photo I submitted has been included in a promotional montage.

Thank you to Claire from Beautiful Things by Claire Mackaness for teaching me how to crochet, for running such amazing classes, for letting me use her photo of my wreath and, most of all for encouraging and supporting me in my crafting journey!