Monday, 31 October 2011

Tigger Poncho In Progress

Happy Halloween!
My thoughts go out to all those with the snow on the US East Coast - hope you're all bearing up x
My needles have been whirring with Mary-Jane's Tigger Poncho. The pattern is simple and straight forward. I am about half way down the main body. The hood (the top of the picture) was done in moss stitch (seed stitch) although you can't really see stitch definition, you can tell the difference in texture between the moss and the stocking stitch. The photo shows the back of the poncho. There are some random stripes coming through at the moment, which are looking good.
We have had quite a quiet Halloween this year. Halloween usually has a fairly personal element for us, for HK and I. This evening HK and I had our traditional nibbles - chicken wings and Hotter Buffalo Wing Sauce (many thanks to Paula for this!) and I had indian nibbles - pakora, bhaji's and samosas with raita. Then we watched a film - Clive Barkers The Plague, a little disappointing. I think I'm not used to my spicy foods any more as I'm rather mal-odourous at the moment, with a growing green vapour cloud. I'm glad HK isn't in the room. I wish I wasn't!!!
Mary-Jane has been bouncing most of the day. She had a really good nap this afternoon and woke with peggy ache and stayed with peggy ache, the poor little mite. She wanted cuddles and pick up most of the afternoon, which she duly had! She then had an early tea and early bed. I've literally heard only one peek out of her since I took her up. Teething really makes her tired. However, this afternoon, for the first time she tried to singalong to a song - Mickey Mouse's Hot Dog Song. She has been able to say 'dog' for quite a while, so she joined in the song singing 'dog'! At the moment she is having so many firsts, almost every day. Today she also tried saying 'cheeky'. I really ought to keep some kind of log of her words and development. Another first today (as far as I know) was going for a walk in the house with just Grandad.

Sunday, 30 October 2011

Blog Overhaul

I've thought it about high time to give my blog an overhaul. Bear with me, and I'll get there slowly but surely. I've not really tinkered with the layout since I started and it's about time!!

Two More Vintage Hand Towels

I have made two more vintage hand towels. I have never known a pattern that I have made so many times. I'm not complaining though. I just hope I don't go off it too soon! The one on the left I started with the intention that it be a halloweeny coloured one, but now it's done, perhaps it is more autumnal. The other was just to be with it, in a set. I'm not sure whether to make another one or make a couple of cloths first.
The second one I did on a coach trip to Glasgow, to the Hobbycrafts and Crafts for Christmas Exhibition at the SECC. This was the first time I have left Cumbria since we came here in January.
The coach took a gruelling four hours each way. Not surprising I got the towel done - and plenty of naps on the way back! The exhibition was interesting. I've not been to a crafting one before. There seemed to be a heavy emphasis on papercrafts and card making. Still, I came away with lots of ideas of things that it would be possible to make. I got five balls of Lana Grossa Basics Tiramisu Print in orange and black. As soon as I saw it, it screamed to me 'Tigger - Mary-Jane!' Five balls later....... I cast on this evening. That is once I found a pattern, which didn't take too long, thanks to Ravelry. I did originally think about doing a hoodie, but then fell upon a hooded poncho by Drops Studio. I have nearly finished the hood. I did have a dilemma as to whether or not I would have enough yarn, I will be sailing close to the wind, and keeping fingers and toes crossed. I haven't yet taken a photo.
I really need to get a wriggle on with my sugarcraft, I'm getting a bit behind with it. I haven't done any since the last class, and the next one is Tuesday night. Tomorrow evening will be spent watching a scary film and eating nibbles with HK. I doubt it very much that I will be able to do any during the day as Mary-Jane will be wanting her Momma and she comes first!

Mary-Jane, Chips & Fish Fingers

Mary-Jane is an absolute delight. On Saturday, HK made Mary-Jane fish fingers and chips for her lunch. She loved this and ate it all up. HK had the forethought to take some pictures. I think they are lovely and really speak for themselves!
Mary-Jane with one of her big smiles that melt your heart.
What shall I eat first?!It's good this food business!
Much concentration is needed to bite a chip when you have lots of new teeth!
And this is how I delicately eat a fish finger!
Mary-Jane enjoys her food. She is willing to try all new foods and even if she isn't highly struck on something, she will eat it up. She has never eaten for the sake of it, when she is full or had enough, she stops. And she loves Batman. Well, more the music to Batman, even when I sing it to her.........

Friday, 28 October 2011

October Itsy Bitsy Swap

HK, Mary-Jane and I went out this morning to collect the last two main items of Mary-Jane's christmas presents. When we got back, there was a parcel on the doorstep. It was from Paula, aka Tavish or PaulaGT. It was a lovely surprise as, although I was expecting it, I didn't know it was on it's way. I did squeal when I saw it!
The October swap theme was 'Bathroom Pot Luck'. Paula made me three beautiful baskets. I don't think the photo quite gives them justice. I'm really thrilled with them. I think these kind of things make a house into a home.
Paula didn't just send items for me. Mary-Jane got two colourful pack of playing cards. I also got a halloween/autumn note pad - these are always handy and I just can't seem to find such things over here. Paula also included a gorgeous hand painted card, with daffodils (Paula's favourite flower, mental note made!). There was also a tin :-) with a pair of scissors and some wool needles, held in place with a magnet - a very useful idea.
Rhinog was sent, from Indy, a hide chew stick. I couldn't resist taking a close up of Rhinog getting his pressie!
HK was not forgotten either! For him was a bottle of Genuine Hotter Buffalo Wing Sauce. His eyes nearly popped out of his head, one very happy chappie! He nursed it in his hands for about ten minutes before he put it down, only to pick it up again seconds later and mutter something about me getting some chicken in next time I go shopping.......
Huge, big, big thanks to Paula for her kindness and thoughtfulness for including everyone! Thankl you!!

Thursday, 27 October 2011

Baking Again

I was baking yesterday. It took the best part of the day and some of the evening to complete. In between times was taken with being with Mary-Jane, and of course HK and spent in the usual doings of the day. May-Jane is still teething, although she seems to be over the worst. It is a little tricky to happily see inside her mouth and take a running total of peggies!
I made a batch of Red Velvet Cupcakes. This time I used sugarpaste dye and the colour unsurprisingly came out soooo much better. I did want to put a different icint topping on, but by the time I got there, it was too late to be messing.
I cut some snow flakes out of a ready to roll fondant icing, then used a paint brush to dust sparkly dust. I liked the effect, better icing next time lol! Well, there are non- left now so they must have been okay!
I also made some NSPCC specials - Vanilla with chocolate chips, with a pale green butter icing and a green spot to resemble the 'stop' of the Full Stop of their current campaign. Unfortunatly all this was lost on the NSPCC Coffee Morning as remarkably, none of these sold, even at the cheap and cheerful price of 30pence each. All is duly noted. I like them and the taste nice. Good enough for me.

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Secret Evening Knitting

My needles continue to be busy of an evening. I have made two gifts for a friend, I can't tell you about them at the moment as she hasn't had them. I've also sent of a swap parcel to Australia today, so I can't tell you what I made until that arrives! Oh the secrecy!!!
Today I started yet another Vintage Hand Towel in Peaches & Creme Sunflower, ready for Halloween. I'm not going to be able to make all that I wanted to, but hey, it'll be there for next year. The lesson is to start Christmas knitting now, well, perhaps next week. One thing that I have noticed with the sunflower is that the green dye is coming off onto my fingers. I've never had this happen before and I have used P&C countless times. I shall remedy it, I'm sure.
  • Mary-Jane is slugging on with her teething. She has teeth crowing and sprouting each day. Life is getting a bit more exciting for her as she gets better and more confident at walking. She had hot buttered crumpets for breakfast this morning and loved them!
  • I can't find how to leave blank lines between paragraphs any more, I really don't like everything looking like one big paragraph, it's so difficult to read. And off-putting. If you know how I can do it, please let me know!!

My Head is Full Of Cupcakes And My Tummy Is Full Of Stew

Over the last few days, I feel that my baking mojo has returned. Perhaps a little different from before. I look through recipe books for ideas and can see some recipes more clearly. I think this is because I'm learning about sugarcraft and so it follows that my understanding of cake toppings and decorations has taken a leap forward. I am inspired to create. Time has been a little against me though, apart from today, when I thought it wouldn't be worth doing any baking as I will be doing a fair bit tomorrow.
I have volunteered to do some baking for the local NSPCC Coffee Morning. What with Halloween around the corner, I thought I would do some themed cupcakes. I sat and had a really productive think with myself as to how to design cupcakes. I came up with a couple of cupcake ideas and am eager to try them out. I had a quick look on t'internet and found quite a few more ideas. SOme of the cakes I saw, well, they blew me away abit. Then I sussed out a little how they could be put together. I'm talking here more of the decoration of them than the actual sponge. Then I thought - Hey! I might just be able to do that, I'm learning how and have growing confidence in doing that.
Now I have to decide - and quickly - exactly what I'm going to do. I'm doing some more baking on Friday, for a Quilting Exhibition on Saturday, so I can spread my ideas out over two sessions. I could do with some more sugarpaste colour (food dye), but the journey to Workington is not warrented by a couple of pots of dye. Not at the moment anyway. So I shall create with what I have. Need being the Mother of Necessity and all that!
One area I don't feel confident in is drawing out my ideas. I have however, tried to write, refer and describe my ideas in words. I just about always take photos of cakes I make, so they will be helpful after.
When I have gotten over my Halloween baking, I am planing to plan for Christmas Cupcakes and biscuits. I have ideas already starting to form in my head.
And the Stew. HK made a big panful of stew, lip-smackingly good as ever. Mary-Jane had a bowl for her lunch and we had two bowls each for tea. Along with slices of Tiger Bread - made from real tigers grrrr!

Saturday, 22 October 2011

Early Christmas Shopping

Mary-Jane is very much enjoying walking. She is no longer content to spend most of the day playing in our front room. She like to walk around the kitchen table and then walking the length of the house, she usually crawls back. Then she likes to be sat at the table playing with her crayons, and then she is off again. She can walk holding one hand. She is learning to go down the two steps into Grandad's room. Going up is not a problem when crawling.
MJ is having teeth pop up everyday. I have counted about 6 or maybe 7 that have either come through or are getting ready to crown. She is coping so well with this. The worst is that she is figety, she asks for apick up then once picked up squeals to get down again. She is also much more tired. Afternoon naps are happening again and early nights are order of the day - and she settles and sleeps most of the night.
HK & I - and Mary-Jane - went out this afternoon to buy MJ's main christmas presents. The shop had a 3 for 2 offer on toys, so we took advantage of this. We have a couple more things on order, to collect on Thursday. I can't possibly tell you what we have got her at the moment - it might spoil the surprise!
I'm also wanting to knit MJ some presents. One thing is a Raa-Raa toy, I have the pattern. She loves Raa-Raa (Raa-Raa The Noisy Lion is a programme she goes daft for on the TV). She also likes Waybuloo, the plinky plonky music makes her giggle loads with pleasure. I might have a look to see if there are any Piplings patterns out there.........

WI Home Crafts Committee II

I have continued to be in email contact with the WI Cumbria-Cumberland Lady. She has offered to put my name forward as a Committee Member, when a new Committee is formed in April. I have agreed and am looking forward to this! Fingers crossed all goes well!

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

WI Home Crafts Committee

I have contacted our WI (Womens Institute) Federation to enquire about what their Home Crafts Committee do, as their was no link on the website for 'more information'. I got an informative email back. Included in this was a comment that they would welcome new members on their committee. I've asked for more info on what would be involved or what it would entail. I'd be interested in joining. I'm awaiting a reply.
I'm also considering putting myself forward for the position of Secretary of our branch. The current Secretary would like to stand down. HK is not keen at all on the idea of me being more involved as he thinks it would take up too much time. I think it would obviously take up some time, but not too much or not as much as he thinks it may. Lots of things to weigh up. The way it's been put to me, there is very little to do. We shall see.
On a distantly related topic, my Sugarcraft is coming on. I now have around six completed fuchsias. I have to do 21 altogether. I've been shown how to do the leaves, and need to do 28 of them. I was also shown how to do lily of the valley and have to do I think 9 sprays of 3. Lots and lots of homework! Next week is half term, so no class. I will have to spend an evening or two a week doing some sugarcraft. I like doing it although am not totally relaxed when doing it, I suppose as it's all still quite new to me. The next project we are doing is Little People (no, not leprechauns!), more like Flower Fairies. My jaw dropped when I saw these and gasped 'you want me to make that?!' It's not a cheap hobby, but the end results are astounding (with practice!).

New Crayons

Mary-Jane has shown interest in pens and pencils, so we got her her very first own set of crayons and a drawing pad. I sat her in the kitchen at the dining table and off she went! She was quite fascinated at taking the crayons out of the packet one by one and putting them in the new box, then taking one in each hand, waving them about and making marks on the paper with them.
We've not particularly shown her how to hold the crayons, but she is getting there. She likes the bright colours.
Mary-Jane likes her crayons and is quite pleased with herself when she draws on the paper.

At the moment Mary-Jane is in the throes of teething. She was quite off the hooks at the weekend, off her food a bit and had a runny bum, appetite and other things are about back to normal. She now is sporting two new teeth, with a third about to crown and perhaps a couple more a few days of crowning. Poor little mite. She really doesn't know what to do with herself and her concentration is much less, not surprising under the circumstances. She is doing her best to smile through though.

Saturday, 15 October 2011

Avril Fobbles Saturday Knit & Natter

Today was a Knit and Natter Day at Fobbles, with Avril. I stayed till about half one and thoroughly enjoyed myself. I even giggled quite a lot. I made a Two Tone Tawashi, well it was a variagated Tawashi. I have plans to make some more for the kitchen and perhaps the bathroom.
On the previous project day, I had made a sock decoration using straight needles. I sat all that evening, re-hashing the pattern so it could be done on two circular needles. I mananged it and it looked good. I emailed the pattern, very pleased (and tired) with myself, to Av. Avril told me today that she had written the original pattern for circular or dpns and then adapted it to straights as most of the group didn't like working on dpns (and don't mention circulars). Yes that is exactly how I felt, I'm still half smirking and half grimacing to myself. Before I undertake such an exercise again, I will speak with Avril. On her part she said she would bear it in mind that I prefer circulars and let me have those patterns as well. You've gotta laugh!
I have also found out that at the Sit and Stitch and Bead days at Fobbles that you can knit as well, so that is two extra knitting days a month, all things permitting. Things are coming together a bit for me on this front.
Oooh, I also had a very smug grin across my mush when I arrived at Knitting this morning as well. Yesterday afternoon I had a Knitty Friend knock the door, asking if I had a pair of certain size needles she could borrow. She told me that in the Age Concern Charity Shop there was some Rowan Pattern Books. With glee I said I woudl do my best to get there first thing in the morning. I arrived at the shop this morning, five minutes after opening and got myself Rowan Pattern books number 26, 38 and 40, Scottish Island Knits and Scottish Inspiration and a pair of bamboo round handles for the princely sum of £10. Bargain worthy of a Smug Grin.

Cloths and Hand Towels

As you may well know, I am becoming enamoured with a pattern for hand towels. I'll not wax lyrical about how much I like the pattern and why, I've already done that! Here is my completed set of three that are already in use. The yarn is Lily Sugar & Cream which was given to me by AnnInAmerica, Auntie Ann to Mary-Jane, when she came to visit in March. I love the colours, they are quite me.
Now cloths need to be washed and here is the aftermath of Cloth Washing Day. You may note that one of me new towels is there as well. I'm sure I have more cloths, lots more cloths, that are somewhere packed away in the barn.
I'm still wanting to make som seasonal ones, ie for Halloween and Christmas, although I can't really see many getting done for this Halloween, due to time and a couple of other projects taking precedent. Never mind. I shall still due them and save them for next year - less pressure this time next year teeheehee!

Thursday, 13 October 2011

October Knitting Project Day

This morning I went to the October Knitting Project Day, held at Fobbles and hosted by Avril of Woolly One-Offs. Today's projects were mini socks for Christmas Decorations and a lavender scented padded eye mask. The projects are original designs by Avril. The yarn we were given for the eye mask was Rowan Classic Yarns Bamboo Soft. I chose a pale pink. This yarn is so soft, I'm sure it will be a delight to knit with.
For the Mini Socks, I chose an 4 ply Artesano in red, orange and green. I used 3.5mm needles. I really could have used a smaller needle, but didn't have any with me. I'm starting to translate the pattern into using circulars rather than straights. Mainly to avoid sewing up. I sure it shouldn't take too long, then I might send the pattern back to Avril. The Artesano knits up a treat, so in my minds eye I have a string of them hanging off the mantle piece at Christmas. Whether I get them done is something else as there is tons of things I want to make in time for Halloween and Christmas and things to make in between. Not to mention things for Mary-Jane - a skirt and a cape. Then there is all the baking. And the Sugarcraft. All adds up to a very busy me.
There is a Knit & Natter all day Saturday, am planning to go.
Oh I was also given a lovely pattern for a small shawl/scarf from a friend at the group this morning. It works well in a large slub type yarn as well as a regular aran or chunky yarn. More of this pattern later. I was tempted to get some Rowan Tapestry to make a crochet (yes I said Crochet) curly scarf, but I resisted temptation, goodness knows how (a tight limited budget was a major contributory factor to this!!).

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

September Itsy Bitsy Swap

For September Itsy Bitsy Swap, Sliverfox (Brenda) made for me. The theme was 'potluck' for the kitchen. Sliverfox was very busy for me and made me some gorgeous things - a hand towel, two cloths and a market shopping bag. I was also sent a packet of apple werthers (sweets) and a pack of two butterfly shaped post-it notes. I'm thrilled with everything, I a really am!
The towel and a cloth have already been put to use in the kitchen and I'm looking forward to using the rest of the items. I'm not sure which stitch Brenda has used (I'll have to ask), it is a textured one and looks lovely! Thank you so much for my gifts, they are much appreciated and will be greatly used!!

T I G G ERRRR aka Mary-Jane

We got Mary-Jane a Tigger outfit, they are supposed to be pajamas, but do just as well for day time wear. They have built in feet which are handy for her as when she crawls the tops of her feet get a bit red and this will give them some relief. Socks don't last long on her feet at all. On the top it says 'Born To Bounce', MJ to a 't' at the moment! She looked so cute and happy, I wanted to take some pictures. Mary-Jane likes to have her photo taken, so as soon as she heard and saw the camera, she started heading to me, and I clicked away. The photos speak for themselves.
Camera spotted
On her way
Got there!
On Daddy's Knee

Thursday, 6 October 2011

Sending September's Itsy Bitsy Swap

The theme of the September swap was 'Kitchen Pot Luck'. I was allocated to make for my dear friend Tavish - Paula. It has been quite a while since I made anything for Paula and I was looking forward to making for her. I started hunting down projects for her and came up with quite a few ideas and even started gearing myself up to try double knitting. The it dawned on me that I had been barking up the wrong tree on my project quest, and that I was doing the kitchen swap and not the bathroom swap. Silly me! Glad I didn't cast anything on.
But everything happens for a reason. I think the reason is that I fell upon the pattern for these hand towels. I think I have come across this pattern before but for whatever reason, my eyes didn't see it. I love this pattern. It is a vintage one and is freely available on good ole ravelry. I love the sheer simplicity and functionality of the towels. Plus I think they look great!
They are mitred squares with a double yarn thickness for the loop. The are knitted in garter and stocking stitch. Beautiful. I am on the second one of a set for myself and have plans to do more. Lots more.
Paula's comment when she got them - P E R F E C T!!!!

Another Trip To Keswick

Mum wanted to buy some Christmassy ribbon that she had seen in the knitting shop in Keswick. so we went through yesterday. The weather was totally different, last time it was lovely and hot, I wore a summer dress and we sat and had ice cream. This time, although not cold, the heavens had opened and I was more than grateful for my hooded coat.
I spent a bit of time in the yarn shop, more time outside. The shop wasn't small small, but was that crammed with things that when I took MJ and her buggy in, I could get tin the shop enough to shut the door but that was as far as I could go. And of course no-one could get past me to get out, as the shop had a few customers, MJ and I had to stand in the rain till there was just us there.
It was a bit difficult to clearly see waht the shop had, as everything was piled up a bit higgledy piggeldy in bags, but the shop Lady knew where everything was and was helpful. I got a pattern for a gorgeous cabled jacket for MJ and a ball of blue cotton to try. This cotton is primarily for a swap, but if it works for what I want, then it shall go on the 'cotton alternative' list. It is thinner though, more of a DK than an aran. We shall see, am sure it will be fine.
After being in their, we went to The Strawberry Cafe for Tea and Cream Scones. It was good to get Mary-Jane out of the buggy as she had become restless. In the cafe, I had her sat next to me on the bench (it was more like a church pew bench). Mary-Jane was an absolute delight. She sat so well and didn't even try to get down. She took her juice beaker out of her Pink Going Out Bag, had a drink, then placed the beaker on the table without prompting when she had had enough. She then had her jaffa cakes - she loves these and can now say 'cake' - she is her mothers daughter after all! She then helped herself to a banana that was in her bag also.
She looked so grown up sat next to me and I was,am so proud of her.

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Sugarcraft Fuchsia's

I have now had my second Sugarcraft Class. I'm still enjoying it. I wasn't able to do any work between classes (apart from a bit of dusting) as I am awaiting the local(ish) sugarcraft shop to get the cutters in - next time I shall shop online. Last week I learned how to attach the stamens onto the stem using florist tape. Every stage of the process cannot be rushed, but with experience dexterous fingers will be born! As the aformentioned shop didn't have any pink stamens in, I had to get white ones and dust them with edible dust. The colour is scarlet. The picture is not brilliant, but you get the gist. The finished stems are put in cling film covered dry oasis.
Tonight I learned how to prepare and place the first set of petals. There should be four petals on each stem. I was advised with being novice, that it may be easier for me to do two petals at a time. I dyed the sugar paste as well, I like the dark purple - very me. Most of the other ladies dyed theirs a pale purple or lavender and their results looked quite delicate.
The flowers are stored with a bent stem to help them dry and keep their shape. I shall try and get all four petals on each stem for next week (this may encroach on knitting time eeek!). Hopefully the cutters would have arrived by then. I have ordered the foam pads online today, and was kindly lent one to take home, by the lady sat next to me.
After the outer pink petals are added, then the leaves are made on seperate wires. I'm not sure how they fit together yet, but am confident it will look rather good. Are you tempted to give it a go, Jo?! xxxx

Monday, 3 October 2011

Christmas Gifts Project Day

On Saturday I was lucky enough to attend the Christmas Gifts Project Day at Fobbles, hosted by Avril Jennison, from Woolly-One Offs. I haven't been to one of the project days before. They are usually on a Thursday, generally knitting in the morning and crocjet in the afternoon. I have made a mental note with myself that this will be an ideal place to make friends with the whole concept of crochet, so I can do more than the granny squares, which I like to do anyway, but I digress...... Saturday was an extra day. There is a Knit and Natter starting after the next Project Thursday, which is held monthly. There is also an extra Knit and Natter on a Saturday, in a couple of weeks. I shall do my best to be there, as a lady there said, with good luck and a fair wind.
For the Project Day, Avril supplied us with 10 patterns for knitted items, two for crochet, all of which she designed, plus 4 scarf patterns, design inspired by the seasons. These are lacey and look divine in something like Rowan Kidsilk Haze. As well as all that, we could choose yarn to make one of the projects with. I chose some purple and black Create With Fibre sock yarn. We also got a mini ball of opal sock yarn and the most scrumptious block of peppermint hand - well it's a block so you can't call it hand cream or lotion. What I can say is that it is a product that I can't compare to because it is sooo good! When you smell it, it certainly unblocks your sinuses and stimulates your senses, really! And the effect on your hands, well, all I can say is try it, I was very, very impressed. It's from Oakwood Aromatics based in the Yorkshire Dales.
On the day, I started making a skinny scarf, named 'Trellis'. Unfortunately, it was one of those things that should be knitted on you own and not in company. After I frogged it a few times, I decided to do something else.
The something else was a small bag with the opal yarn. You should be able to get two bags out of the ball, but with me knitting on 3.5mm and with having a loose tension, the other bag will be much smaller!! I managed to finish the bag before the end of the session. Oh and did I mention that we had lunch and lots of mugs of tea provided as well?!
One of the patterns I was taken up with, was the Bowtie Neck Warmer. Much as I wanted to, I didn't buy the yarn to go with it. I knew I could substitute with something in my SABLE Stash. And I could. I used Jeagar Extra Fine Merino, which was given to me by my dear Friend Linda, as a Leaving Stafford Present. There is a tale to this yarn, remind me to re-tell it you soon. So Saturday evening, I casted on the Bowtie Neck Warmer and this evening I casted off. A project that has taken perhaps 5 hours tops to do, over three evenings. It fits me beautifully and is warm and snug. And it looks good!
Here is Violet, one of Mary-Jane's toys, modelling the Bowtie Neck Warmer
And here is the small opal sock yarn bag. I've pulled it together with just a peice of yarn, it will need something a little more substantial for proper use. I like the pattern. It would be good to use for small gifts or to place on a Christmas Tree.

Encouraging Mary-Jane To Walk

HK and I have been enc ouraging Mary-Jane to walk. She is already able to walk several steps with her hands being held. At first her steps were beautifully exaggerated, we called it her goose-step. She is now much more fluent with her legs. We got her a truck with alphabet blocks when she was very young. She has been playing with the blocks and truck for a couple of months. She has used the truck to gently place the blocks on and take them or tip them off. I've just realised that I have uploaded the photos in the wrong order. Never mind.
To try and familiarise her with using the truck in a different way, we put her in it and gently rolled her backwards and forwards. MJ seemed to like this new experience.
We then stood her behind the truck, placed her hands on the handle and she started rolling the truck slowly backwards and forwards.
A little more fun each day with the truck and she will be flying! She can easily walk around the room holding onto furniture, and is balancing/standing by herself better and better each day. She is coming on so well, I love her to bits xxxxxxx

Sunday, 2 October 2011

A Short Trip To Keswick

We went on a short trip to Keswick a couple of days ago. Mary-Jane enjoyed the car ride.
Unfortunately I didn't take any photos around Keswick itself, just from the car on the way back. It was more of an experiment to see how the photos would come out, taken from a moving vehicle - mixed results!
Keswick is in the Lake District, the scenery is nothing short of stunning.
I've still not caught up with the names of all the fells. I think that is going to be a long term project.
The light play on the fells is quite amazing, no matter what the weather - well as long as you can see them that is!
I couldn't resist including another image of Mary-Jane. She likes to have her photo taken. She quite enjoyed having Momma in the back of the car with her, instead of driving!
I'll try and find out some more about Keswick and all the surrounding areas. I'm not quite on all four cylinders at the moment, so I can't even think of any trivia for you!

Getting Slowly Ready For Halloween

I've been gathering a few bits to make Halloween Decorations over the past few weeks. I got some eco-felt in various colours, wadding, buttons and some ribbon. The first lot of decorations I wanted to do were based on the hearts I made for last Christmas. These are simple to do and can be used as some form of hanging decoration.
I had a look on the t'internet for suitable templates, and found a few. I printed them off (they were free ones) and duly cut them out. I know they would be sturdier if they had been cut out of card, as I did with the letters, but......
I sat at the kitchen table (I had been trying to keep it clear for a few hours as the kitchen table doesn't stay clear for long, no matter how I try). and got all my bits and bobs out of my new craft box. I cut out two pumpkin shapes out of felt and one out of a single layer of wadding. You could put as much wadding in as you like.
On the one piece of felt, I stitched a Jack O'Lantern face. I used stranded thread as that was what was in my box, you can use which ever you fancy or have got. No hard and fast rules here! Then sandwich the wadding and felt and blanket stitch round the edge, pushing the wadding in slightly so you can't see it.

And this is my one and only finished pumpkin. I was on slo-mo. I've templates for cats, a witch on a broomstick and ghosts. I want to do similar things for Christmas as well. I was thinking that I might string them together and make an alternative bunting. That's if I get to it, I'm sure I will - there is always Halloween next year!