Wednesday, 27 August 2014

What's hookin' ?

The sun has returned and it's a beautiful day here in the Midlands. So after a lovely long walk in the woods with the two most-adorable-pups-in-the-world, I took my morning cuppa, my book and my current hooky project, outdoors.  It's a mild, autumnal temp but on the deck where I'm sheltered from the wind it's just perfect - and so lovely to see the sun again after being battered with rain for the past few days.  I'm really not ready for summer to leave us quite yet . . .

So, do you want to see what I've been crocheting lately ?
Well I'm going to show you anyway  ; - )

Meet Emma, the Bunny -  I think she & I are kindred souls . . .

can you spot the little bumble bee too?

 " Emma is an extremely lovable bunny whose aura is kept in balance by regular dates with her yoga mat.  She's a very house-proud mummy rabbit and her warren is her sanctuary.   Although often reluctant to tie up her ears and get on with the housework, she does a very fine job once she sets her mind to it.  Her creative talents have long slept dormant while other people have become a priority, but it looks as if that might be about to change.  Once there's a vase of fresh flowers and a pot of Earl Grey tea brewing on the side, it's time for Emma to get out her needles and create. " **

. . .  and Seamus the Alpaca . . .

" Seamus fancies himself as an actor. The only major downside of boasting a face that's good enough to pull off any type of hat is that you are continually fighting a battle with the unruly hair that sits beneath it.  Seamus has been the lead in his village's Amateur Dramatic Society for the last 25 years, and that has only accelerated the growth of his larger-than-life character.  No one can deny the power and depth of his singing voice;  every day it can be heard bellowing from the open windows of his thatched cottage in accompaniment to the dawn chorus. "  **

Emma & Seamus - the best of pals already

And on the reading front,  I'm half-way through my Book Club selection for this month:  Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter, but I do keep getting distracted by a little pile of sewing & crafty mags sitting patiently on my bedside table.

Linking up today with Ginny's weekly Wednesday Yarn Along  - do pop over and have a wee peek.  You may even like to join in ?

'til next time,

**credit: patterns & text from the oh-so-adorable book:  Edward's Menagerie by Kerry Lord.

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

IPP - the crafty side of things . . .

One of the most fun things about having creative & crafty friends to stay over the summer, is that there is always the opportunity to learn something new.   So when Lesley arrived with a bag full of beading & felting things,  Jen  & I did a little dance of joy.
The three of us first met, just a little over two years ago in Washington DC, USA where our hubbies were attending IPP.  Within minutes of being introduced, we'd discovered amongst other things, a mutual love of all-things-crafty.  And that was that. . . a firm friendship was born.

Fast forward to August 2014 and once more our boys were gathered at the annual IPP conference - this time in London.  So crafting plans were laid and first up was a bit of beading . . .

Left to our own devices whilst the boys were out & about (running around in some not-so-secret nuclear bunker - yes, seriously . . . read a bit about it here if you're interested), we donned our comfy gear, ordered take-out for dinner and turned the dining room into our crafting studio. 
Lesley makes the most beautiful beaded jewellery and had brought everything along that we needed so we set about making ourselves each a pretty bracelet under her expert tutelage.

bracelets in the making . . .

. . . and the end result :-)

Next on our list was "Learn to needle felt", so after a little excursion to The Cotton Patch for more supplies, and a re-location to London, we set up a makeshift craft space at our hotel, and went about ticking that one off too.

turning a bundle of wool roving into a sweet little penguin

expert tutor at work . . .

The call to dinner interrupted our crafting session,  but a little later we reconvened in the hotel lobby bar and had an impromptu workshop for a few of the delegates' kids . . .

. . .  and between us we produced 3 penguins, a Mallard duck, a dinosaur & 2 very scary monsters . . .

How cute is this little menagerie ?

Sadly all good things must come to an end, but as Jen winged her way westwards to California and Lesley crossed the pond home to Canada, we're already making plans for next year . . . 
hmmmm . . . .  what shall we make ?
: - )

'til next time,

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

A very British invasion . . .

You may recall that a wee while ago, the Hubby commissioned me to sew 150 little bags in some fab Brit fabrics (read about it here if you'd like).

  So whilst these would all contain a mechanical puzzle gift for his fellow metagrobologists attending the IPP in London this year, I thought I'd make something for the girls too and set about sewing a whole bunch of zippy make-up bags as a little reminder of their trip to sunny ol' England.

all cut out & ready to sew. . .

Don't you just love these sweet fabrics?

And we girls had a great time . . .  

 a river cruise & a yummy lunch in Stratford upon Avon,

a trip on the Severn Valley Railway from Kidderminster to beautiful Bridgnorth,

 a lovely wander around London, taking in the sights and the shops,

 and a visit to the beautiful Kew Gardens,

complete with a spot of yarn bombing . . .

We also managed to squeeze in some fun crafty things too - some beading, some needle-felting, and a wee bit of crochet . . . but that's a whole other blog post  : - )

Now our friends have all returned to their little corners of the world, but I hope, with lovely memories of their English summer of '14.

"Haste ye back . . ."

'til next time,

Thursday, 14 August 2014

It's a tie . . .

So,  just a few days before our lovely friends arrived to stay from far & wide and I had a wee bloggy break,  I took a fun workshop at Sew Me Something - to learn to make a tie . . .

Fabric all cut out & ready to sew . . .

some pinning, some sewing, lots of laughs . . .

and some nifty hand-sewing & intense concentration.

 Ta - dah . . .
four fabulous ties

and the Hubby wore it to work this morning, so I think he likes it  ; - )

Oh, and there was cake . . . which was yummy . . . of course . . .

Did I mention it was fun ?  Can't wait to make another . . . and another . . .
(I'm thinking Christmas pressies already)

'til next time,

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

And the winner is . . .

Helloooo out there . . . I'm back in the Land of Blog, and when I finish all my chores and emerge from under the pile of laundry, I've got lots of fab new crafty adventures to share with you.
  But for right now, I'd just like to say thank you to everyone who entered my celebratory giveaway & a BIG welcome of my new bloggy followers - thanks for popping in  : - )

So, using my usual method of selection - my resident random number generator, aka The Hubby - I'm happy to announce that the winner of the adorable Edward's Menagerie book is . . .

 . . . comment no. 12, 
 the lovely Birgitta from Handmade and Off-Centred .  

Birgitta lives in beautiful Iceland, and if you haven't already discovered her blog, please do pop over and say hello - I know you'll get a warm welcome.

Congrats, Birgitta - and I can't wait to see which of these adorable little creatures you'll make.

Back again soon,

Thursday, 31 July 2014

An Alpaca Afternoon. . . {and a giveaway}

A little while ago, Hazel's Crochet posted a review about a new crochet book  called Edward's Menagerie by Kerry Lord from Toft Alpaca.  Lovely Hazel also had a couple of tickets for the launch to give away, so as I live not too far away, I eagerly accepted her generous offer and last Friday, with fellow crafty friends Sarah & Rachel in tow, off we went to spend a fun afternoon surrounded by all-things-alpaca-and-crochet.


It was a beautiful warm sunny day so we started with a tour of the farm to see the funny and curious alpacas and crias (the baby ones, who were just too adorable), 


 followed by a yummy alfresco lunch, before we  headed back inside to meet Edward's Menagerie and enjoy a little crochet workshop.


 Seriously, just how adorable are these gorgeous animals ?  Aren't they just so sweet?  And they all have their own stories too.

  And so enamoured by these funny & fabulous creatures was I, that I just had to buy an extra copy of this delightful book to giveaway.

So, in celebration of reaching the milestone of 300+ followers on GFC,  and to say a big thanks to all of you lovelies who are following along on this crafty bloggy adventure with me, I'm giving away a  copy (signed by lovely Kerry Lord of course) of the book. 

If you'd like a chance to win it, it's simples.  Just . . .

1) be a follower of my blog (GFC, Bloglovin' or by email); and 

2) leave me a little comment below - and if you're a no-reply blogger, please make sure you leave contact details too.

Now, as we have a full house of guests for the next little while, I'm going to take a wee bloggy break for two weeks, so will leave the giveaway open until midnight GMT on Sunday 10th August and announce the winner asap thereafter.   

So, good luck & so long for now.

'til next time,

* * * * 

Thanks again Hazel for your generosity, and thanks to all the lovely ladies at Toft Alpaca for hosting such a fun event..


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