Friday, 27 May 2011

I'm back! (again)

Let me try again - lol. I obviously wasn't prepared for the demands of parenthood when I last blogged - but I'm feeling much 'bloggier' right now ;o)

So - Catrin is now 22 months old and I'm 6 months pregnant (!). I've left my job and bought a franchise with, teaching baby signing to babies and young toddlers. I've just sold my house and bought a fantastic new sewing machine and overlocker - a Janome 4900 and Janome 8002D (seemed like a fair use of the money to me!), and I'm going to my first quilting class next week.

I haven't done much crafting over the past couple of years, but there have been bits and pieces, which I will post up here when I feel I have nothing more current to share :o)

So there we, are, that's me and my news over the past year and a half - how have you been?

Just to finish, here's a picture of a summer dress I made for Catrin using a free pattern from Burda Style, slightly altered to make it a bit longer and more similar to Bread and Jam's dresses. The fishy fabric is a Michael Miller bought from Fancy Moon and the lining is also 100% cotton, bought from a local fabric shop (I can't remember the manufacturer name, sorry).

The sun hat / bandanna was cobbled together from spare scraps of fabric, and my favourite part, which you can't see in this photo, is the matching knickers from a pattern on Prudent Baby.

Right then, see you soon!

Saturday, 26 September 2009

I'm back!

It's been months since my last post, in which I hinted at a big project that was a work in progress. Well, I'm thrilled to report that it's now completed and ready for a grand unveiling.

Introducing baby Catrin.

She arrived in August and is absolutely beautiful and a complete joy.

I'm afraid I didn't get on very well with pregnancy - I suffered from severe oedema (swelling) which saw my feet expand from a size 5 to a mens size 9, meaning I had to wear mens flip flops to shuffle around in for most of the summer. The swelling affected my hands and wrists as well, causing carpal tunnel syndrome which meant I couldn't knit for pretty much the whole pregnancy.

The knitted project I blogged about last time is still unfinished, although I've recently picked up the needles again and have made great strides there - one final push is all that needs now. It would have been finished already, but since I've been able to knit again I've been distracted with lots of mini-projects which I'll photograph and show next time. I may even have finished that project by then, too!

Sunday, 1 February 2009

Gallivanting and knitting

We've been to Barcelona! It was only a super-quick visit for a couple of days to take advantage of Ryanair's 1p flights (best not think about the imapct on our carbon footprint...) - and it was lovely. I'd never been before, and I was thoroughly impressed - but two days really isn't enough. I want to go back and next time I would like it to be for a week or so. We were very lucky with the weather - it has apparently been quite cold there a couple of weeks previously, but it was a glorious 21 degrees during our visit (although getting chilly in the evenings), which is fantastic for us coming from a Welsh January!

Here is a picture of me being impressed with Barcelona, on top of the tourist bus.

I haven't done much cross stich recently, I seem to have been bitten by the knitting bug again. I did make and complete one mini-project, which turned out to be horrible, so I'm never going to mention it again, and will never photograph it.

This next project is shaping up quite promisingly though - can you tell what it is yet? I've only completed 3 squares so far, there will be 25 when I've finished, in four different colours.

And I'm still working on that other big project, but I'm not ready to share it with you yet - a couple more weeks should do it, I reckon - at least for a WIP pic.

Sunday, 25 January 2009

My absence

Aopologies for my absence of the past few weeks...

Normal blogging will be resumed shortly with news of a brand new project that I've been working on....

Sunday, 7 December 2008

Wood Sprites and Gingerbread Houses

This is my wood sprite. He makes things grow and looks after the garden, or at least he will do from next spring onwards. He's only a few weeks old and is still a little bit too vulnerable to be left out in the December frost. Until then he will be wintering on my mantelpiece, where it's safe and warm, and wherer everyone can admire him properly.

He doesn't have a name. He's a wood sprite - they don't believe in names.

And here is my finished gingerbread house for tomorrow's 'event' in the office. Apparently my house is too 'plain'. I disagree - I like it just the way it is (and besides, I've ran out of royal icing and the sweets just won't stick on with plain glycerine).

(I had a bit of a Photoshop moment with the sky there - I don't know whether your noticed. I didn't feel the kitchen cupboard was the right sort of background for my gingerbread house.)

Since this photo was taken, a car has been added which is brilliantly cute - a bit like Noddy's car except with Liquorice Allsorts for wheels, a chocolate button for a steering wheel and two Jelly Tots for headlamps.

Taking it into work tomorrow will be interesting, it's on a very large and slightly wobbly board. I'm torn between wanting somebody to help me take it into the building, and being a little bit ashamed of being seen...

I'm really looking forward to sseing everyone elses though - I've had a sneaky preview of a couple of them, and they're awesome - they completely put mine to shame! I will take photos to show you.

The first ever Cross Stitch Patterns Blog Carnival is now up at, and my red mushroom is one of the ones up there. There are only a few patterns up this time, but I hope it will grow, as it could be a great resource for stitchers.

Speaking of cross stitch - here's a quick update of my current WIP - she's coming along, but I'm afraid I've abandoned all hope of getting her finished in time for Christmas!

Sunday, 16 November 2008

A new free cross stitch pattern

Ok, maybe it's not 'properly' new - but there is now a green version of the free downloadable Mario Mushroom cross stitch pattern available to download (over on the right, there).

I have created and posted it response to a request via etsy from Rachel (Hi, Rachel!).

A request! Can you believe it? I'm so chuffed... :o)

I will probably expand the collection with a blue one and/or a yellow one in the following weeks, depending on time and stuff.

Saturday, 15 November 2008

Things I did in November

Can you believe it's been nearly a month since I blogged? I have loads of stuff I could blog about, but I've decided that my blog entries are far too long, so I am limiting myself to a very quick overview of some of November's highlights. With pictures, because we all like pictures.

Handsome J and I went to Paris for a 5 day break. It was lovely, Paris is lovely, the food was lovely (with the exception of a tripe sausage - which I will never be ordering again) and even the weather was lovely. Here is a photo of the Eiffel Tower, taken from a boat trip on the Seine.

Since my visit to Paris I've become super-conscientious with my French classes and homework, I'm reading french magazines and even a french book (a kid's book - Le Petit Prince, but it has more words than pictures so you should be very impressed.), I'm listening to french radio in the office on the internet when the boss isn't looking, and I've even found some french penpals. I have come over all keen and enthusiastic and am making the most of it while it lasts.

I haven't managed to do any more cross-stitching since the last photo I posted, and I don't remember the last time I did any knitting or sewing. However, I have finished a few more items in pottery, including:

1) Four dark blue glazed earthernware buttons. I don't know what I will use them for yet, but they're gorgeous and completely tactile - like polished pebbles. I can't walk past them without picking one up to hold and stroke. I should make more. J made the dish that they're sitting in.

2) Fairy-cake stands. These were turned in a single piece on the wheel and haven't yet been glazed. I need to sand them down a bit before I can glaze them to make sure they're as lovely as they can be. They've been sitting around the house waiting to be sanded for the past 3 weeks though - I must try to do them this weekend.

The cake stand in the front is a bit lumpy because of a failed experiement involving slip and a doiley. I reckon it'll be ok in the end.

3) And this is my favourite - a hand-built (i.e. not thrown on the wheel) cake stand, glazed using paper dolieys for resists which was (frankly) a genius idea that I will doing again and again.
The dish warped in the kiln during the first fire, which I think adds to its loveliness. Also, I might have used a tiny bit too much blue glaze, which resulted in a very, very, very dark (almost black) colour, and a bubbling overspill into the middle.
The spilt glaze looks a bit like a man, so I'm claiming that it was intentional, that I'm a very clever, talented and intuitive artistic-type, and that the man in the middle is looking out towards the horizon over a choppy sea, pondering the meaning of life.
The combination of its wobblyness and the bubbly, super-dark glaze gives it a bit of a gothic, almost Tim Burton-y look, which I especially love. It's the best cake stand ever. And I'm very, very pleased with it.

And finally - here is a picture of me. I was trying to avoid posting pictures of me because I always think I look much better in my head than in mirrors, photos and videos. (In my head I'm a taller, slinkier, much more attractive version of me). However, J has told me that I have to blog this one. I don't really want to, but here it is.

This is me and L at the ice rink this morning, after a session practicing our backwards skating (did I mention that I've taken ice skating lessons?). I'm the one on the left that looks like a big, frumpy polar bear. Hmph.