cats, craft, crochet, knitting, music, Uncategorized, yarn

Top Ten Review of the Year

Well, another prolonged absence due to work – I’m not one for making New Year’s resolutions, but next year I will make more time to post on my blog as I have missed not being able to post so regularly.¬† Getting organised is half the battle I think…

This year has been an interesting one (in all senses of the word!) – a new addition to my family (OK, so he’s a kitten) and a rebranding of my blog and business as well as opening my Etsy Shop.

Add to that the most manic year of my (full-time) working life and major changes within my working structure – which are all still in a state of flux!

But in many ways a fantastic year, much love and laughter with friends and family, and finding a kindred spirit in crafting in my friend Anna (and her five-year-old Mikey who’s favourite phrase is now “let’s get crafting!”)

So here is my Top Ten Review of the Year on looking back through my blog, I do hope you enjoy it!

One – The arrival of Sir Patrick of Naughtiness

As an Astronomy geek, I managed to persuade Anna and Mikey to name their rescued kitten Professor Brian (Cox) after everyone’s favourite physicist and ex-popstar.¬† I was amazed they went with it…

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I was even more amazed that I ended up rescuing his brother, whom I named Sir Patrick (Moore) after the famous and much beloved Astronomer and BBC Presenter (RIP).¬† It particularly helped that he had a squinty eye in which I could imagine the real Sir¬† Patrick’s monocle.¬† I met the real Sir Patrick¬†once, he was absolutely delightful, and was very kind to me when another celebrity was very rude to me (you know who you are, Michael Fish!).

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Two РOpening my Etsy Shop

This was a long-term aim over the year and was delayed many times due to factors outside of my control!  In the end it was opened in October and I had my first sale within 24 hours.

I haven’t quite had the time since then to promote it as much as I would like, and I have exciting plans for my Etsy shop¬†for 2016, so my upcoming week off in February will be spent at home getting things sorted…

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Three – Vintage Shopping at the Car Booty

Regular readers will know that I love a bargain.¬† Most Sundays I can be found at Frome Car Boot Sale, rummaging around in other people’s junk.¬† For several months this year I had an amazing run on vintage notions and patterns and went a bit overboard buying them.

I have now decided to offload some of them in 2016 when I take part in a Craft Fair which also lets you sell related goods.  Some, though, I cannot bear to part with!

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Four РYarn, lovely Yarn

I wrote about my yarn addiction on several occasions, it has perhaps got a little out of hand, especially after I visited the Kensington Olympia Knitting and Stitching show in March – but I did get some beautiful yarns, including the cashmere / cotton blend to make this lovely shawl on my Etsy Shop.

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Five – Devon knows how they make it so lovely

Through my lovely friend Anna, I’ve had the chance to visit Chagford, in Devon on the edge of Dartmoor, twice this year for Craft Fairs.¬† Such a beautiful place and the people are so friendly and welcoming, it’s a real treat to visit there. ¬†Bonus treat – the tiny ponies and other cute critters at the Miniature Pony Centre nearby.

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Six – Holidays-a-go-go!

I’ve been extremely lucky this year with holidays – having a gorgeous week in Marbella in March, with Mum, and then again in Bayeux in June with Mum, Dad and my brother.¬† The first time we’d all been away together for several years.¬† Both were fabulous holidays, much needed and much enjoyed, and allowed me to expand my stash even more with some really lovely yarns and notions (as well as some cheeky¬†goats producing the softest mohair)

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Seven – My first giveaway of Crochet Patterns

In October I gave away the pattern for my first designed project, some mini Halloween Treat Baskets – to fill with yummy chocolates.¬† I had great fun designing the different faces and putting together a beginner’s project which I was happy to share for free.¬† Although a simple design, it has given me a taste for more!

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Eight – Geek Loveliness

A fabulous year of nerd-dom¬†has been bookended by Star Wars. ¬†In May I posted about my trip to Marbella and the surprise of hearing a youth orchestra starting up with the Star Wars¬†soundtrack – I have never departed¬†a cafe in such a hasty fashion¬†before… ¬†In May I also posted a cheeky geeky guide and then followed up with a visit¬†to the Doctor Who Exhibition in September with my family. ¬†There is an adventure to go through which is rather interactive – I was more scared than the kids!

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Nine – Animals A-Plenty

It never surprises me that my most popular posts tend to be around my two black cats, Ella and Sir Patrick.  After all, they are endless sources of amusement to me!

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Ten – Art and Crafts

And back to my main loves Рart and crafts.  In April I visited Standen, a home filled with delights from the Arts and Craft movement which I so admire.  Moving on to June I waxed lyrical about Salvator Rosa, one of my favourite artists, and in July I wrote about the beautiful lace that I encountered on my goaty adventures in Bayeux (and of course the famous Tapestry).

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And finally, throughout the year I have been extolling the virtues of crafting,¬†thank you for joining me on my journey this year, and here’s to 2016!

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Geek Weekend – Part I – Costumes

Ood afternoon!

Yesterday I accompanied my cousins to the Doctor Who Experience in Cardiff – highly recommended for any Who fans…

I visited a couple of years ago (during Matt Smith’s Doctor) and they have recently re-energised it and the exhibition with a more interactive Peter Capaldi episode which is at times quite spooky, but very enjoyable.

Afterwards we wandered through the exhibition and bought some goodies at the shop. ¬†More on that later – I thought I would start with the costumes which were quite magnificent. ¬†Please excuse the quality of the pictures as I only had my mobile phone camera on hand…

Firstly, some of Clara’s costumes. ¬†She’s not my my favourite of companions, although she has her moments… ¬†She is so incredibly tiny – I am sure my biceps are wider than her waist!

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On to one of my favourites, River Song. ¬†She is an amazingly powerful female character. ¬†One of the things I love about Doctor Who is that they don’t just write in two-dimensional girlie roles. ¬†All of the companions (and now Missy of course!) are complex, usually clever, resourceful and funny. ¬†River Song had (or should we say, has!) this in spades.

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On to some of the character costumes – the attention to detail and styling on these were quite astounding up close and personal.

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I can’t do a blog on Doctor Who costumes without including The Doctor himself. ¬†Firstly – my first Doctors. ¬†I have no¬†recollection of Jon Pertwee, I think I would have quite enjoyed his incarnation of The Doctor. ¬†The Fourth Doctor, Tom Baker, was my first Doctor. ¬†I found him extremely scary at the time – big eyes, big hair, very tall and that booming voice (well I was very young!)

As a keen knitter and crocheter, I have always fancied making a¬†scarf or two, based on a variation of Tom Baker’s scarf. ¬†Perhaps one in a thinner, lighter fabric, not so wide and¬†certainly as long as possible – but maybe¬†not quite the 24 feet long scarf that the Fourth Doctor had at one point.

Peter Davison was my favourite at the time, he was quieter, more sensitive and, of course, very handsome! ¬†The celery stalk was a bit of a strange addition to the costume, but it all added to the quirkiness of The Doctor which we all know and love…

 

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So here they all are – in order, including the War Doctor.

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My least favourite Doctor was Sylvester McCoy.  He had some fun with the part, but it was no surprise to me that the series was cancelled at that point.

With ‘new Who’ I¬†was thrilled that Christopher Eccleston took the part of The Doctor. ¬†He and Russell T. Davies brought something fresh and new to a character that we all loved, and thought we knew! ¬†but my Doctor is (and probably always will be) Ten – David Tennant (he really was a skinny boy!)

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He just encapsulated the role so brilliantly and could play light and shade and everything inbetween.  Although Eccleston brought it back in style, to my mind, it was Tennant and his relationship with Rose that sealed the success that it now is.

Who is your favourite Doctor and why?

Happy geeking!

 

Lou x

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It’s the Etsy Countdown… 3

Afternoon all!

So, the time has come for me to unveil my Etsy shop on Monday…

The countdown has begun!

Photos are being snapped, UFOs are beginning to turn into FOs, dummies are being dressed, seams are being sewn, descriptions are being written and policies polished to (hopefully!) perfection…

I will be counting down again tomorrow with more details, but here are a few of my first snaps of my items and WIPs taken with my new camera.  I decided on a Canon Powershot SX400 IS РI am certainly no camera expert, but this bridge camera is lightweight, has enough settings and gizmos to keep me happy without completely confusing me!

 

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This pebble stitch scarf with picot loop edging is made in King Cole Gypsy – although it is an acrylic yarn, it is such a beautiful, soft medium to work with and the colours are absolutely fantastic.

 

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Next is a double chain scarf in James C. Brett Marble Chunky Рagain I surprise myself in using an acrylic yarn, as I tend to prefer working in natural fibres.  I make an exception for this yarn.  Not only does it have a fabulous texture and is easy to work in Рbut the colour choices and mixtures are a treat for the eyes.  This project has since been finished and will be going up in the shop!

 

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This one, however, is still in progress… ¬†I’m a bit of a slow knitter! ¬†This child’s scarf is in half moss stitch, which gives a lovely flat almost ribbed appearance on one side, with little crescent moons on the other. ¬†For this scarf I am using Sublime Baby Cashmerino Silk. ¬†It’s extremely soft and seems to knit it up well…

So – back to the plans – or perhaps a cup of tea and a biscuit first!!

Happy crafting!

 

Lou x

 

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Marbella Crafting Fun!

Well, I’m pretty much unpacked and back to normal (ish) after my trip to Marbella with Mum. ¬†The dull British weather has certainly brought me back down to earth with a bump!

I managed to find the haberdashery/wool shop again in Marbella, but was a bit disappointed with their lack of range. ¬†I did manage to find one yarn that I really liked – Retinella by Oso Blanco. ¬†It’s a mix of Merino and Acrylic with a bit of Polyester to add a bit of sparkly shimmer. ¬†It feels like an Aran / Worsted weight but knits up as Bulky. ¬†I’m making a stretchy V Stitch crocheted scarf with this.

I also bought some more of the Marbella Cotton which made up lovely coasters which I left at the Marbella apartment last time and was glad to see that they are still there being used!

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On our last couple of days we wandered around trying to find a shop that we had seen earlier in trip.  The Old Town in Marbella is full of windy cobbled streets which all look the same, but I have a pretty good sense of direction (usually!)  We found the shop but on our way discovered another Wool Shop which had a fabulous range of Lanas Stop yarn.  This is really good quality stuff РI bought some in Bath and it cost me a fortune, but made up this lovely simple ribbed Alpaca mix scarf for my Dad when I first learnt how to knit.

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So I went a teensy bit mad, bought some gorgeous Extra Merino double knit in burnt orange, to make a scarf for Mum, and¬†Algod√≥n Soft which is 3-4 ply and I’m not sure what to do with it but I’m sure it’ll make something very pretty.

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More news to follow about my Etsy plans and also naughty cat behaviours!

Happy crafting!

Lou x

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