During October I Will.....


Thursday, 27 October 2011

Alphabet Of My Life

I have seen this alphabet list on a number of blogs recently and thought I would give it a go.  There is a question relating to each letter of the alphabet for you to answer.  

This is my alphabet:

A. Age:  38
B. Bed size:  King
C. Chore that you hate:  Ironing 
D. Dogs:  Always been and always will be a St Bernard.  Sadly we are not currently owned by one.
E.  Essential start to your day:  A huge mug of tea.
F.  Favourite colour:  Yellow
G: Gold or silver:  gold
H: Height:  5'9"
I:  Instruments you play:  Recorder, clarinet, saxophone and a bit of piano
J:  Job title:  Civil Servant
K: Kids:  2 - Liam (9) and Freya (8)
L: Live: Stourbridge, West Midlands in the same house I grew up in as a child.
N: Nick Name:  Can
O: Overnight hospital stays:  sadly lots and lots
Q:  Quote from a movie: Nobody puts Baby in the corner.
R:  Right or left handed:  Right
S:  Siblings:  Martyn (35)
T:  Tea or coffee:  Tea, just the smell of coffee gives me migraines.
U:  Underwear:  Matching
V:  Vegetables you hate:  Easier for me to say what I like; sweetcorn, onions, small amount of peas, cauliflower & mushrooms.  Really wished I liked more.
W: What makes you run late:  Kids but being late is my major peeve in life.  It is just so rude.
X:  X Rays:  lots and probably most of my body has been either x-rayed or scanned at some point.
Y:  Yummy food that you make:  I love baking cupcakes and they are extra yummy when we use free range eggs from our 4 pet chickens.  Make a great roast and all the trimmings too.
Z:  Zoo Animal:  Giraffe.  Just love going to the safari park and hand feeding them.  I get more excited than the kids!

Well that's me and my alphabet.  Would love you to leave a link if you share your alphabet.

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday?

Ladies it has been a while but this week I have crochet on my mind!  These darker and sadly colder nights are making me want to snuggle up under a blanket and crochet.  This is one of my current projects (one of many!) I am currently working on.  My Giant Rowan Ripple:

Only just started this and I know it is going to take a long long time as it is the size of a king size bed.  It is so soft and warm snuggle underneath it when I am crocheting!

Don't forget to pop on over to Julia and look at some other crafty work desks.  I'll try to visit as many as I can over the next few days as I just can't help but have a peak into your crafty worlds.

Thanks for visiting

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

One A Day Tuesday Tallies (25 Oct 2011)

A little bit more productive week this time around.  The big life issue that was causing me stress has been dealt with this week and to be honest I have used crochet as a way to de-stress and have rippled away pretty much none stop during my spare time.  I have also managed to make a whopping 5 scrapbook LO's.  This is very unheard of for me, especially during a working week.

This week my Lucy & Heather's Ripple Along looks like this:

Another 4 rows!

But I have also been working on my Rowan Giant 4ply Ripple which is to fit a king size bed and now looks like this:

I have made this from scratch this week and is 3 rows long.  This gives me a total of 7 rows made this week with 3 being extra long.  I am really really pleased with what I have achieved and hope with it being half term I can make good progress on these two projects again.  Sadly I am still waiting for the mid blue for Liam's Red, White & Blue Granny blanket.  I am thinking I may have to try and match another mid blue from another manufacturer even if that means I have to frog the last 2 rounds on the 6 I have completed so far.  Fingers crossed the shop can get some in over the next 2 weeks or frogging it is.

Please visit Gingerbread Girl and click on the links from her blog to see all the other wonderful one a day projects.

Enjoy your week and hope to be back next week with lots done.

Monday, 24 October 2011

More Scrapping

Sarah's Cards October kit has well and truly got my mojo back and yesterday afternoon I produced another 3 LO's from the kit.

This photo was taken Christmas 2009 when we went to see Santa on the local canals:

This is a really old photo dating back to October half term in 2007.

Finally this one is from the Summer holidays and our visit to York last year.  I like mixing up old photos as it means my albums which are stored chronological order look different with both the papers and my style of scrapping which I hope is improving with time.

I have now run out of cardstock but there is still another 2/3 LO's in what I have left. 

Finishing this kit is this weeks aim and with no work with a bit of luck it should be no problem.  To think I use an entire kit in the month it arrives is quite unbelievable!

Sunday, 23 October 2011

Sad News

Over the weekend I have had two very upset children and two very bewildered cats.  Sadly our lovely little tabby Barcardi died late Friday night.  She was always a very shy cat and would scamper off the minute the camera came out so sadly we don't have that many pictures of her.

She gone off now to be with her brother Breezer (Barcardi Breezer ;0) ).  She is already very missed.

Saturday, 22 October 2011

Look, I Still Do Scrap!

You would be forgiven if you thought I had stopped scrapping and now just crocheted.  Well no, I'm trying my hardest to juggle 2 hobbies, kids, pets, a stressful job and life in general.  I think the last few days I may be getting back on top of things, not in control but back to the point where I can sit down at night for five minutes and say phew, job done.  That's not been said for a long long time.

This week my October 2011 Sarah's Cards kit came.  I can honestly say until these past few months jellibean soup has not been a range I have gone to.  But CHA Summer 2011 has changed my mind and I have purchased 2 ranges this Autumn and none of the ranges I usually go for.  This month Sarah's Cards kit was Apple Cheddar Soup:

Scrap Kit Subscription OCTOBER START

Very autumnal and pumpkin based at first glance but once I got started I found it very versatile.   

Thursday night I couldn't sleep, so open the box came and these are the two LO's I did.  Both from the same kit yet so different is colour palette but the pages in the range coordinate so well together :

Hope you enjoy your weekend x

Friday, 21 October 2011

This Year I Will.....October Update

With just over 2 months to go until the end of the year I thought it was time for an update on my 'This Year I will.....' goals:
  • Kiss and cuddle my little babies at least once every day.  A big Yes.
  • Find something to smile about each day.  Most of the time.
  • Have a minimum of 30 minutes every day of ME time, no children, no TV, no computer, no telephone, just ME.  As selfish as this may sound, it needs to be done for my own health, both physically & mentally.  Really think this can be nothing but a big huge whopping fail.  Sadly health issues have totally taken over and this goal went out of the window quite a few months ago.
  • Make Fridays (my day off) part housework/errand - frees the weekend to spend time with Liam & Freya - and part 'me' time.  Too much of the housework/errand stuff last year!  Health issues meant that Monday to Thursday consisted of getting up, going to work, eating evening meal and going to bed.  Everything else was squeezed in to Friday in order to try to keep the weekends free for family fun.  Sadly some weekends were spent catching up on sleep and chores.  Not much fun at all.
  • Go for a walk every day, even if it is only for 5 minutes, I will go outside and walk to clear my head and think about life.  Been on crutches the majority of this year with planter fasciitis, broken leg/knee and then DVT.
  • Eat 5 portions of fruit & veg a day. Most days I managed 4/5 but other sometimes only 1/2.
  • Have a wonderful Summer holiday; a 3 1/2 week tour of Europe to include my Brother's Wedding in Lithuania.  Yes, yes, yes, yes and yes.  So much fun we have drawn up next years itinerary.
  • Get organised; 2010 was really not a good year and this year I will get back to the place where I am in control of what is happening and not depending upon others, who quite frankly let me & my children down.  Do you really want me to answer this one?
  • Choose carefully those people I let into our lives.  On the whole I think this is a yes!
  • Start organising presents for Christmas - Its going to be a stress free one this year unlike the mayhem of 2010!  Not started buying anything yet but I have made lists of who is getting what.
  • Have a professional family photo shoot.  One shoot paid for and then I won another.  Love the photos from both shoots.
  • Do something new every month. So far I managed a fish ped in January and I am going on a scrapping retreat in 2 weeks time.  Fail I think!
  • Finish decorating my scrap space & bedroom. Moved the desk and storage unit in plus all my stash sorted and stored but no decorating.
  • Decorate Liam's room.  Nothing done apart from Liam make a huge mess but I suppose that is 9 year old boys for you.
  • Decorate the lounge.  Chimney breast stripped, paper and paint chosen and brought 2 new canvas' of the kids photos for the chimney.
  • Decorate the hall stairs & landing.  Striped some more paper off but nothing else and still more needs to be stripped on the stairs, you know the bit that needs a ladder.
  • Finish the roof on my garage, laundrette and downstairs toilet.  New roof on outside of toilet and launderette.  Garage still completely roofless and need to do the ceiling inside.  However where it joined the kitchen has got damaged and now the kitchen needs replacing plus a new ceiling inside!
  • New laundrette cupboards.  Ceiling needs to be done first, then walls re-plastered.  Have started to strip the old wallpaper and sort the contents of the cupboards.  Decided what doors I want.
  • Decorate down stairs toilet.  Nothing done.
  • Sort out the plumbing.  Nothing done.
  • New window in bathroom and landing.  No new windows.
  • Find a baby sitter so I can go to Bromsgrove Crop on a Saturday.  Achieved, thank you Daddy!!!
  • Attend a retreat.  Booked and going next month!
  • Complete 12 LO's a month.  I'd say on average I have got pretty close to 12  a month.
  • Complete 12 Granny Squares or stripes a month.  Probably averaged about 6 a month.
  • Catch up on unfinished scrapping projects from 2010; JYC 2010, Document 2010, LSNED 2010 & Liam & Freyas Year In The Life Of albums. Zilch, nil, nothing, nowt, probably best not to ask if you get my drift.
  • Complete a family scrapbook for 2011; something on the lines of Document 2010.  On track for Document 2011.
  • Complete Liam's and Freya's '2011 Year In The Life Of' mini albums. Nothing started and certainly giving up now but I have scrapped 12 x 12 pages to go in their life albums but no specific mini album for 2011.
  • Use more scrap stash than I buy.  Was this ever going to happen????  But have stopped Scrapagogo monthly kit and not brought as many extras but still the stash mountain has increased.
  • Finish all the crochet projects I have started before I begin anything new.  More yarn than at the beginning of the year and more WIP's.
  • Knit myself a pom pom scarf.  Eyed the wool in my LYS.  Does that count?
  • Take time to rediscover cross stitch.  Probably spent less than 10 hours during the whole of the year and to be honest I can't see any major progress going to happen on any of my WIP's.  But not brought any new kits. 
  • Bake lots and lots of yummy things.  Baked more than I did last year but not as much as I would have liked to have done. Having said that having chickens and lots of fresh free range eggs has been a huge boast to my motivation. 
  • Win the lottery (got to have one thing that won't happen on the list).  Spent £2 per week, won nothing.  Not one single £10 win.

There is a lot of RED above and not much GREEN. To be honest I can't see much changing over the next 2 months either.  Oh well, at least I have next years goals ready to start!

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

The 10 Minute LO

I found this site from Jo's blog where there was a LO that could be completed in 10 minutes.  And yes it can.  It took me 15 minutes to do mine and that included getting the stash, choosing photos and then taking a picture of the finished LO.  If only it was that simple every time!  You can find the 10 minute LO here.

This is mine,  a picture taken at Hitler's Eagles Nest in Southern Germany over looking the German and Austrian Alps.  This picture really does not do the views justice at all.

The last 2 LO's I shown you have all been made using Sarah's Cards November 2010 kit (11 month old kit!!!!!) and I have now made 4 LO's and 2 cards and there is plenty left.  If you don't subscribe to a monthly kit I really can recommend Sarah's Cards and as a subscriber you get 10% off all other purchases from the shop plus a very generous loyalty scheme.  The kits are always really thought out and you get a DT booklet with around 8 to 10 examples plus a selection of cards and sketches.  Well worth the £19.95 especially when there is no minimum subscription period.

Also do go over and visit Jo as she does some lovely LO's and is a fantastic photographer as well.

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

One A Day Tuesday Tallies (18 Oct 2011)

MMMMMM, one a day!!!!  Gone for a little holiday this week me thinks.  Since not having any blue yarn I have taken up my ripple again and decided to take part in Lucy & Heather's ripple along.  And yes I have decided to stash the yarn after seeing their choices to make a copy of their ripples.  But can you guess which set of yarns I am stashing, Lucy or Heather's?

I am not for one momment saying this is my one a day project until it gets finished as there will come a point when it won't fit in my bag and I will have to work on something else on my journey to and from work but for now the ripple it is.

It started like this after sitting in a cupboard for many many months and now 4 days later looks like this:

It is beginning to look like a ripple now I have started the second colour:

It just seemed to look like a crinkly mess before:

Sorry but that's all there is from me this week.  Two and 1/3 stripes, about a single bed width.  I had started with about 1/3 of a stripe so I would say I have done 2 this week.  Now I am not a quick rippler and I am going to count from one end to the other a stripe; with this blanket I am doing two stripes in each colour.

Life got in the way and I'm sorry I didn't manage to get round everyone last week but I promise to this week.  Can't guarantee it will be before the weekend but I'll find time Saturday and Sunday to make sure I catch up with you all.

I am also changing my end of week to a Sunday.  I work 7 hours on Monday and Tuesdays and with a 3 hour travel each day (1 1/2 hours each way) I am a little pooped on a Tuesday night to get this post up.  What I intend to do is schedule the post on a Sunday and then when I come home Tuesday I will link to Gingerbread Girls Tuesday Tally post.  This will mean I will have a bit of time on a Tuesday to look at some of your lovely projects.

Pop on over to Gingerbread Girl (if there is no link here, I'm not home yet!) and take a look at plenty of pretty one a day projects; all sizes, patterns and varied colours of the rainbow.

Enjoy your week x

Sunday, 16 October 2011

Julie's Pass The Page Challenge

A few weeks back Julie posted on her blog asking if anyone would like to join in a game of pass the page.  A very simple idea, Julie creates a LO and sends it to the first person on the list who scraplift's it and then photos of their page is sent to the next person on the list.  Each of us has a week to complete our pages.

Last Sunday I was sent Julie's page.  Being the first I was a little nervous and when I opened the email, after I had got back up from the floor I realised my comfort zone had got up, walked away and was now sitting in outer space.  Julie's page is lovely but is so not me.

I had originally planned on doing the page Wednesday night, but chickened out!  Time was running out and had to be with Julie today so at 6am this morning I bit the bullet and sat down and made my page.

Sadly at this stage I can't show you what I have made but when the blog hop is up I hope you can all come back and take a look.  But I can show you this LO when I also made this morning:

I even made some little flags and embellishments:

Hope you all have a great Sunday and I'm off now to tackle cake baking, Sunday lunch and housework.  Do you think anyone would notice if I played with paper and glue for a bit longer?

*Edited - As much as this was out of my comfort zone, I really enjoyed this challenge and do love the page I created.  I am walking away from this challenge with the knowledge that I can go out of my comfort zone and make a page I like.  

Thank you Julie for giving me that huge push that I needed.

Saturday, 15 October 2011

Oh My Oh My Oh My

Let me introduce you to my new 'current' crochet project.  On Monday night I read two wonderful posts by two fabulous crocheting ladies called Lucy and Heather and just thought I MUST join in.

Last year I started a ripple and after a number of stitches followed by frogging and then more stitches and more frogging and so on and so on I got this far:

Oh swoon at my lovely Cath Kidson project bag.  I <3 thee so much.

I didn't say I'd done much!  But the hours and hours it has taken me to get to this point is unbelievable.  This is my colour selection, with cream:

Without cream:

Not quite sure yet whether to use the cream but the length of time it will take to finish the petrol stripe I will probably have months to decide.  This ripple pattern is really the first time I have struggled with crochet and I find I am constantly looking at the pattern which means pretty slow progress.

Well, my yarn choice, rico baby dk, is not as gorgeous as what Heather of Little Tin Bird and Lucy of Attic24 have chosen to make their next ripples with but I am going to take part in their ripple along.  The idea of lots of ladies round the world all rippling along together, helping and encouraging each other truly inspires me.   I'm quite sure I will NEVER keep up with them all but if it get me motivated then all the better.  

These is Heather's lovely choice, Debbie Bliss DK Cashmerino (about £4 per ball):


And Lucy's, Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino (about £5 per ball):


Don't they just look fabulous.  Words can't express how much I am in love with the quality of yarn and their colour choices:


Both ladies have such an amazing talent for picking colours that work, contrast and complement each other so well.  I just don't have the confidence or the 'eye' to pick out colours of yarn as well as these ladies do.

Mmmmm, question is can I build up a stash of their choices to repeat their ripple blankets at a later date?  

It will certainly be buy a couple of balls at a time with the price of these yarns especially if I want to make a decent sized blanket (will need about 36 balls by Lucy's estimation).  But one thing I know for sure they will be so super scrummy and cosy to snuggle under as their choice of yarn is so fantasticly soft and yummy to the touch.

Heather has set up a flickr group for the ripple along which can be found here.  Over the weekend I will add my paltry effort to the group. Oh how disappointing it will look compared to the lovely ripples that are already there! Well I've got until May to get it finished for the new arrival, surely even I can manage that lol.

Thanks ladies for the inspiration x

Photo credits for Debbie Bliss yarn to Lucy and Heather.  

Thursday, 13 October 2011

Productive Crafty Week

Finally I have got some crafting done last week.  As well as taking part in Gingerbread Girl's One A Day crochet project and making a granny square each day I also scrapped two pages.  Both are part of my Document 2011 project.  The first one is the main page for June:

The second LO was the main page for July:

Both made using Studio Calico kits.

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Here, There And Everywhere For One A Day Tuesday Tallies (11 Oct 2011)

Yes it has been here, there and everywhere crocheting this week.  I have crocheted in a hotel room, at gymnastics (whilst watching my Daughter not while I was balancing on the beam!), on a train, on a bus, in the lounge, on a train platform, at the Doctors, at the hospital and whilst in my bed.  You name it I've crocheted everywhere.  And to show for all these places.....I have another 5 red, white and blue granny squares:

This makes a total of 6 squares for Liam's blanket.  

Really happy with these.  Although I did not manage to make the full 7 and to be honest I think with 6 rounds on each square I may struggle to do this, I am really pleased with my progress so far.  I am making the squares different apart from the last two rounds which are both blue.  I hoped to complete another 5 each week and am going to set this as my quota for every week.  If I mange to make more, that is a bonus.  But what I will do is sew all my ends in as I go, something I didn't do this week.  

I did say I hoped to make another 5 this week and now here comes my little problem.  Off I went today in my lunch hour to get some more of the blue yarn only to discover they had none in stock.  The lovely lady behind the counter said she would order some but it could be 2 weeks before it arrives.  

Now what is a girl to do you may well ask.  Well you just have to buy some yarn to make another blanket to work on while you wait these 2 very long weeks for the blue yarn.

My choice of yarn I hear you ask.  This lovely yummy raspberry:

While we are here we may as well add in a little contrast:

Don't they look lovely together?

Do I hear you ask what I am going to make?  If any of you read Heather from Little Tin Bird's blog you will instantly recognise her lovely daisy blanket.  Just love Heather's blanket and I am off now to make one of my own.  My yarn is not as soft and squishy as hers but it will be lovely to snuggle under and at under £12 will be a real bargain of a blanket.  Until the blue yarn arrives this will be my one a day blanket or as I am going to call them my 5 a week blanket.

If you fancy having a look at some other one a day projects pop on over to Gingerbread Girl and take a look at the links.  There are some truly lovely projects being made and I have seen some lovely squares that I would love to have a try at after this blanket is completed.  

If you fancy joining in just add your post to Mr Linky and we will come and visit you.  I can honestly say I felt so welcome last week with everyone's lovely comments.  Thank you ladies for making me feel a part of this project group.

Now what was it I must remember.....ah yes, sew in ends as you go.

Thanks for visiting and good luck with your one a day projects.

Monday, 10 October 2011

10 Things (October 2011)

This is a series of blogs posts organised by the lovely Shimelle.  On the 10th of each month a number of bloggers write a list of 10 things.  This could be a list of anything you like.  This is the first time I have joined in as time seems to be flying by and its usually way past the 10th by the time I remember to do my post.

My list is 10 things I want to do before the end of the year:

  1. Bake cakes, cookies and muffins every week.
  2. Attend a scrapbook retreat for the first time and learn new techniques.
  3. Get organised for Christmas - purchase and wrap all presents by 10th December.  No last minute running here there and everywhere this year.
  4. Decorate the lounge - finish stripping wallpaper, put new paper on chimney breast, lining paper on all other walls and then paint them.
  5. Finish one of my many crochet projects - I could manage to complete a 10 on the 10th list about WIP's and still have plenty left over!
  6. Complete my Document 2011 album.
  7. Complete my Brother's wedding album.
  8. Complete our Summer holiday album.
  9. Have 30 minutes 'me' time each day.
  10. Lose 1 stone in weight - 12 weeks means around 1lb per week which is achievable.
I am using this list as a little reminder about my 'This Year I will...' pledge I made at the beginning of the year. Sadly due to numerous health issues there are a number of items on this list that won't be achieved this year.  It makes me upset to think I have not achieved these goals but I am going to use this as a learning curve for the future and acknowledge that sometimes life throws things at you and your plans all go up in the air.

However, anything not achieved on that list will go forward with me to next year.

If you want to have a look at some other 10 on the 10th list pop over to Shimelle's blog.

Sunday, 9 October 2011

New Crochet Book

After reading this post last week by Lucy at Attic24 I jumped on Amazon straight away and ordered the book and it arrived 2 days later.  I just LOVE it and already it is very well thumbed.  Full to the brim with lovely projects which I have looked, stared and drooled over for the past 10 days.

Question is which project do I start first?

Thank you Lucy for showing me such an inspirational book.

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Life, Grown Up Life.....

.....it just gets in the way of fun doesn't it.  It has been a very busy 2 weeks since I last blogged, so busy that I have not done any scrapping at all or any crochet.  Well in order to kick start some woolly fun I am going to join and actively take part in Gingerbread Girl's one a day group on Ravelry.  The idea is that you crochet one granny square each day and without you realising it you have a blanket.

I have just finished my first square of the red, white and blue blanket I am making for Liam.  Here it is:

Just needs the ends sewing in which I can't do tonight as I am not at home and have forgotten to bring a needle with me.  

If you want to have a look at lots of one a day projects pop over to Gingerbread Girl and take a look at some really lovely woolly work.

Fully intend to be back next Tuesday with a lovely pile of 8 grannies to show you all plus some LO's to share as I really need to get stash busting as the unopened kits in my stash are growing again and we can't have that can we!


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