Wednesday, 29 December 2010

Latest Makery

I've been on a bit of creative roll this Christmas holiday and have made quite a few new bits of jewellery. I've been having a play around with some pink wire I picked up from Hexton earlier in the year and have made been making my own head pins and eye pins. I'm pretty chuffed with results.



Also, while scouring the charity shops for bargains before Christmas I also spotted this cute Miffy pencil case for 25p. Its absolutely perfect for my crochet hooks and assorted paraphernalia and so unbelievably cute :)

Saturday, 25 December 2010

Merry Saturday :)



Having a nice chilled out Saturday with all the bits I like about Christmas with none of the stressy bits \o/ Got a new game for my DS so have been playing that this morning along with napping. Its Lego Harry Potter - I'm a bit of an addict when it comes to the Lego games and have already finished Lego Star Wars, Lego Indiana Jones and Lego Batman so Harry Potter was just the ticket for today :)
I also got a cool Miffy Calender and lovely vegi cookbook. The cookbooks giving me some ideas for what to grow down the plot this year. I definitely want to give Squashes a go this year as they look simple and taste yummy.
I hope you like my silly festive e-card - its my one and only Christmas decoration and it was made by me last week from pipe cleaners, felt, embroidery floss, some beads and some white ribbon. They were all bits I had around the flat already and I didn't follow any tutorial, I just got inspired by the Mistletoe on the market and thought I could make some of that.

Friday, 24 December 2010

Beaded Allotment :)


I've been itching to get down my plot and start work on it but the weathers been far too cold. I started trying to sketch out a plan for next year but abandoned in for a beaded, felt allotment plot :) It took me a couple of days and I used up odd scraps of fabric and stray beads I had laying around along with embroidery thread. I'm pretty chuffed with how it came out.
I have even put in a little, ginger allotment cat at the front of my shed :)

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Brrrr


Went down the allotment today to empty the compost and it looked so pretty. It was totally deserted and the snow was so thick. I took a few pics and spotted little paw prints across our plot. Obviously allotment cat has been visiting in our absence :)

Sunday, 19 December 2010

Mouse Fingers

Its been absolutely freezing here so I've spent most of today on the computer surfing the web and playing games. As a result I have a bad case of mouse fingers. This is a term my bf came up with to describe what you get when you've been spodding too long and your mouse hand gets really cold.
So you too can share in this condition I thought I'd share with you my top 5 online games :)

5. Flight of the Hamsters - this is a cartoon network game where you use your mouse key to glide the hamsters as far as possible using the hamsterballs, skateboards, springs and speed arrows. Its a bit of luck with a fun amount of skill thrown in. Also highly addictive and once you get the hang of it you can get some really big scores. So far today I've got 805.


4. Samorost 2 - very quirky game where you have to solve the puzzle. Its a bit of an odd one to explain as its so different but I love the beautiful animations.

3. Cats - this is a game from Orisinal and another beautiful and quirky game where you use your mouse to hover over the cats so that they either sit or walk, depending on what the cat in the highlighted bar is doing. You clock up points for how long you can get all the cats doing whatever they need to be doing. Its simple but highly addictive.

2. The Fancy Pants Adventures: World 2 - in this one you use the arrow keys and space bar to guide Fancy Pants around his world kicking a snail shell around to get it into its goal. Its another slightly quirky one and a lot of fun :)

1. Nethack - one of my most favourite games ever. Its a role play adventure game where you move your character around the dungeons of doom in search of the magic amulet. You get to choose between a variety of characters, I personally love being either a wizard or a priest. Its extremely simple graphics but a massively complex game which is so playable and addictive. Its been around since the 80s and I've been playing it since Uni (over 10 years ago). To find out more about the different strategies check out this very thorough wiki. If you like a bit of geeky fun check it out :)

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

*wheeze wheeze*

Still off work at the moment but thankfully I'm feeling a lot better today than I have for quite a bit. Still wheezing like I've got a 60 a day habit but otherwise feeling a lot healthier \o/
I forgot to put in my last post that I was down in Norwich last weekend visiting parents and dropping off Christmas pressies. In spite of feeling a bit rough I really enjoyed it and had a good time on Sunday pottering round the shops with my boyfriend. We had the most amazing chocolate cake in a place called Marmalade in the Arcade and I picked up a few new crystals from Head in the Clouds. We also discovered that Head in the Clouds has its own website. It was a favourite shop growing up and its where I used to pick up my hair dye, floaty skirts, jewellery and other niknaks and stickers. The best thing of all is that it hasn't changed a bit since I was a child so lots of happy memories :)
We also had a walk back through some of the back streets and got to see some great graffiti.
My mum also got me Audrey Niffenegers 'Her Fearful Symmetry' so I've had my nose stick in that since Sunday. Its already looking very good so I can't see it taking long to read.

Monday, 13 December 2010

*cough cough*

I still have a nasty chest infection so I've been off work for a bit. I've been using the time creatively though and have been making more inchies for Christmas cards and finishing off the last bits and bobs of Christmas pressies. Today I'm baking some fimo as I've made a friend of mine a fimo angel. Its her birthday tomorrow and she loves angels so I'm hoping it will come out okay.
I've also been making some fimo butterfly necklaces. I've made the pendant part so I just need to get myself some chain to hang them from. Here's the first one which I'm keeping for myself :)

Saturday, 4 December 2010

Stuff!

I've got the chestiest cough at the moment and its driving me absolutely potty! To try and distract myself I've been having a bit of a sort out of the stray junk that just accumulates on the shelve, drawers, pots and corners of the flat. Its odd stuff like paperclips, rolls of tape (so far 14 rolls of tape!), note pads, postits, scraps of paper, bits of string, shoe laces, envelopes, old jiffy bags, you name it!
I've cleared one box out which I'm going to use for 'stuff to donate to the scrap bank'. I've put a ton of paper in the recycling bin. I've also collected the useful leaflets, timetables, menus, etc. together and put them in a little A5 folder of plastic pockets. All the pads are now in one central place too along with the safety pins, treasury tags and paperclips. The Borrowers would have a field day if they visited our flat.
In celebration of my tidying I thought I'd share with you some words of wisdom from the late George Carlin. Such a funny man and he hits the nail on the head when he talks about stuff. Enjoy :)

Thursday, 2 December 2010

What a cool video

Through the wonders of Reddit I spotted this. Thought I'd share it as it was cool.

Sunday, 28 November 2010

More fimo fun :)












I've been busy with fimo again. This time I've been making keyrings. I've been using the stamps I picked up a couple of weeks ago in one of the charity shops and using them with fimo to make some pretty flower charms. I'm really pleased with how they've been coming out.
I used to find having no local craft shop a real drag but I think I've learnt that if you keep your eyes peeled you can find crafting items all over the place. My favourites are the local charity shops and car boot sales. You can pick up beads, jewellery findings, fabric, wool and all sorts of crafty goodies. I particularly like these as I like recycling. I also like knowing that the bits I've picked up aren't in abundance so the bits I make will be one of a kind.
I'm also pretty lucky in St Albans as we have a good market. I get most of my felt and ribbon from either St Albans or Watford market. I also buy a lot online and love beads unlimited and ebay.
In other news I'm also reading a couple of books at the mo - Robert Winstons 'The Human Mind' and Jane Austens' 'Emma'. I've been slowly plodding through Robert Winstons' book for a while now but its a good read. I started reading Emma last weekend and I'm really enjoying the story and I'm whizzing through it.

Saturday, 20 November 2010

Crafty Non-Christmas












I have been merrily crafting away Christmas pressies like theres no tomorrow :) I don't celebrate Christmas but always get pressies for family and they still buy for us, we just don't enter into the whole Christmas day b*****ks (sorry couldn't think of a better way to express that :/) The whole spending and commercial madness that goes on every year does the complete opposite to making me excited. It also seems so wasteful for a day that started life as a religious festival and I'm not religious at all. I always get a few raised eyebrows each year and a few worried looks when I say I don't celebrate Christmas, but not celebrating it is so liberating and relaxing. I'd definitely recommend it :)
As well as crafting pressies, I've also been making the odd extra bits for the shop. I've been making brooches today which I'm really chuffed with. Here's some piccies of the results. I was going to put some pics up of the pressies I've made so far and then I thought - Doh! - family maybe looking - kinda spoils the fun of unwrapping things if you saw it several weeks ago online.

Saturday, 13 November 2010

Budget Crafting :)


Today I visited my first ever Scrap Bank. Wow, what a find - I thought I'd died and gone to heaven. If you have never been to one before, they are places where you can pick up materials for crafting at little or no cost. The idea is that people/companies/schools/etc donate any left over craft materials or general waste that can potentially be repurposed and crafted into something new. I can see that these places are not everyone's cup of tea as you need to be prepared to forage, but as far as I'm concerned it was like visiting Aladins' Cave. I came away with a small stash of fabric scraps and offcuts, some buttons, 3 rolls of stickyback plastic, some broken jewellery and some sticky back foam sheets, a tiny ball of orange wool and some broken Christmas decorations. I really like the heavy duty, laminated fabric with daisies on. I thought I could make a few purses/wallets from that. Also the little scraps of fabric and broken Christmas ornaments will be great for inchies. The best bit of all was that it didn't cost me a penny. Most of these places work by having you sign up a yearly subcription and then you can go along whenever you wish. The place we went to today charges £20 a year and I was lucky as my bf is a member through work. I'll definitely be back. Just the thing as I love turning old stuff into something new.

Sunday, 7 November 2010

Maybe I should have been a Surgeon :)


I've been stitching like there's no tomorrow. I've made loads more inchie xmas cards, some more stuff for my folksy shop and a craft roll for myself :) I have been meaning to make one for ages and finally got round to it last night. Its made from a pair of old jeans with some scraps of felt for the pockets and an old hair bobble. I can fit loads in it and when its done up its about the size of a pencil case. I'm really chuffed with it :)
I've also been out and about a bit this weekend. Yesterday I went over to Stevenage to visit my boyfriends new studio. He's really into pottery and has now got himself a studio so he can make pots and stuff any time he likes. It was a great size and I got to see his wheel and latest creations. Its really exciting.
Afterwards we went to Hexton and had a yummy lunch in the Lavender Tea Rooms and a potter round the craft market. I picked up some more cool ribbon, some cool silver beads and some coloured wire. I want to have play around with the wire and try and make some wire wrapped jewellery. I've seen some really pretty stuff on flickr and would like to have a go myself.

Monday, 1 November 2010

And the winner is.....

A big thank you to everyone who entered my giveaway :) I have employed the use of Random.org to generate a winner so drum roll please.....





















And the winner is:

Comment number 14 = Kiddo :)

I will notify the winner so thank you again to everyone who entered. I really enjoyed seeing everyone's comments. Its also helped me a lot too as its given me more ideas for things to make for my shop as I have a better idea what people like. Hopefully I will be able to hold another one of these in the not too distant future - it was lots of fun :)

Saturday, 30 October 2010

One More Day to Halloween



Sorry, I couldn't resist sharing this. Its been going round my head all day :)
Also, I thought it would be a cool way to say to everyone that you have one more day to enter my giveaway. Good Luck and Happy Halloween :)

Thursday, 28 October 2010

Folksy Kat & RIP Ari Up


I've been a bit on the fluey side this week :( This hasn't stopped me creating though and I have been merrily making inchies. I'm making them on a festive theme to use in Christmas cards. I loved making them for the swap earlier in the year so I thought I'd make some more for myself. If you're not familiar with them they are roughly an inch square (hence the name) and can be made from any material and are tiny pieces of art. For the swap we were sewing them but I've seen loads on flickr since which are made from paper and other craft materials so I think its pretty much anything goes. I've been sewing my latest ones and so far have made 7 cards from them :) I'm aiming to do a minimum of 1 a day.
I've also been busy setting myself up in business over on Folksy.com. Woodle Doodle Dandy Designs is now up in business so please go over and take a peak :) I'm thinking of eventually swapping over completely at some point in the future. Dawanda is a great site and there are some beautiful handmade items on there, I was just struggling with getting my head around pricing everything in Euros. On Folksy its all in £s so I'm getting along with that much easier. Also being UK based I'm guessing that the customers will also be UK based and this may help to increase sales.
I've also been doing a bit more crochet and I'm mid way through a crocheted scarf. Its the biggest thing I've attempted but I'm really enjoying it. I'm thinking of making it as a Christmas pressie so I'll have to see how it turns out. The plan is that I make quite a few of my pressies this year. That way I keep costs down but with the added bonus (I hope) that my pressies will be original and more personal.
Also on a sadder note, I spotted that Ari Up from the punk band the Slits had died. If you don't know them, they were an all girl band fronted by Ari. She was just 14 when they got signed up and they did more for equality in the music scene that the Spice Girls could have ever dreamed and they were doing it a good couple of decades earlier. The pic above is a sketch I did a couple of months ago of Ari so I thought I'd post it with this.

Sunday, 17 October 2010

Free Stuff!! \o/


I love entering giveaways so I thought I'd join in with the fun and host my own. \o/ For the occasion I have made this pretty blue and silver, bone charm bracelet and earrings set. I hope you all like them. The closing date for entries will be Sunday 31st October at Midnight (GMT).

Open Worldwide :)

How to enter: -

1. Follow my blog and leave a comment to say who you are and that you are following

Additional enteries can be made by:-

1. Visiting my shop and commenting on your favourite item.

2. 'Like' my shop on facebook and leave me a comment with your fb name here.

3. Follow my shop on Twitter and leave me a comment here with a link to your profile.

4. Tweet about this and comment with a link.

Sunday, 10 October 2010

Scavenger Kat's Treasure Trove :)



I had an amazing find this weekend. I found these two big, yoghurt pots of broken jewellery. Both were going for a fiver each. I wasn't sure when I first how much I'd be able to use but once I got them both home and emptied out on my desk I was beaming from ear to ear :D
I've already made one pair of star earrings from an old broken necklace I had and from some broken earrings and broken chain in my new stash. They're up in my shop if you want to take a look.

Saturday, 9 October 2010

Latest Makery


After having a bit of a shift around of furniture and bits I've made myself a new making area in the living room. The shelf next to it now has all my craft books and I have my own little desk. I also picked myself up a cheap lamp for a tenner so I have some decent light to work by. Its great and has got me inspired to finish up some of my half finished bits and bobs.
The bits I've finished include my cowel scarf (which I started over a year ago!), my little crocheted purse, a crocheted coaster and a few bats pendants for my shop :)

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Meet Crazy Crochet Lady


I'm getting seriously into crocheting at the moment. So much so that I've purchased myself some more supplies. Check out my new crochet hooks that came in the post today. They came from a German Company via Amazon. I'm so chuffed and can't wait to give them a try. I also picked myself a cool crochet book from my library so I'm considering taking the next step and actually following a pattern. Most of the bits I've made up till now have just been playing around with bits of wool and making it up as I go along. This book I've borrowed has lots of small projects like bags and belts so I'm hoping that there will be something in there that I can have a go at :)
I've also been making some more pendants in time for Halloween. They're in a mix of different colours with little bats on them (of course). I shall get posting pics of them too when I've got some new ribbon to hang them on. If you want a sneaky peak then you should be able to see them in the flickr slideshow on the right side of my main blog page.

Sunday, 26 September 2010

All things wooly


Finally after about 18 months I have got round to finishing a scarf I was knitting for myself. I'm really chuffed with how it came out, especially as I'm a bit crap at knitting. I, unfortunately haven't inherited my mums knitting skills and I just look awkward, but I get there in the end \o/. I've also been inspired by Violetta's cowl scarf so I think I'm going to do the same and put some big buttons on it. I also hate it when scarves unravel themselves and you keep having to rewind it so this should fix that problem \o/.
I'm also crocheting more and have finally got round to using some wool I picked up from a craft fair last year. I'm making a small purse so will post pics when I've finished that.

Saturday, 25 September 2010

Alone but not lonely

I spotted this via Reddit and thought I'd share it. I thought it was something we all need to be reminded off from time to time.

Saturday, 18 September 2010

Odds & Ends


Earlier this year I voted in a competition to choose the best Garden Centre in the Country. It felt a little liked I'd fast tracked my way to pension day as most of the folk filling in the forms were a tad older than me. I voted for Burstons as they sell yummy cake, have an excellent selection of information leaflets (one of which saved our Cyclamen) and the staff are always helpful and seem to know a thing or two about gardening (always helpful :) ). A couple of days a go I got a thank you letter from Burstons and some vouchers :) so armed with my vouchers we paid them a visit today and picked ourselves up a few bits and bobs for the plot. We now have a Budleia which I've wanted for ages, so tomorrow I'm going to head down the plot and attempt to plant it. I want to put it near the shed so it grows across the shelter out the front. The plan is that as it grows it will hang down and make the area smell nice and we'll have lots of butterfly visitors :) We also picked up an odd looking plant for the balcony. The leaves are corkscrew like and long and we figured it looked pretty cool and was coming home with us. We also picked up some feed for our Orchid and some more composty stuff so it could be repotted. The best bit was, with our voucher, we only spent just over a tenner :)
I've also been making a few other bits of jewellery to put in the shop. I got some really cool wool a while back from one of the charity shops in Borehamwood. I've been playing around with it recently and have made a necklace. I'm really chuffed with how its come out. I've also been playing with some fringed wool and having a bit of a crochet.

Monday, 13 September 2010

I Love.....

I've been sent an invite by Violetta of Violet Elephant to play 'I love'. The idea is simple, you just list 10 things you love. I think I can manage that :)

1. My bf, family & friend :) :)
2. Harribo - the sour ones are my absolute favourite
3. Lush smellies
4. Cake & puddings in general - favourites: - Battenberg, Bakewell Tarts, Syrup sponge, Jam Roly-poly
5. Cats
6. Making stuff and all things arty
7. The internet - if you want to find it it will be there, you might just have to look for it
8. Bats
9. Butterflies
10. napping

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Makings & Tidying


I've been having a bit of a creative spurt recently and have been working on some more jewellery ideas for the shop. I've been using some stamps I picked up last year and using them with fimo to make some new pendants. I've used pearl effect fimo and then coated the cooked pendants with a smear of water colour paint, a coat of glitter glue and a coat of varnish. I'm pretty pleased with how they are looking so far. I plan to hang them on ribbon and managed to pick up a mix of colours today from TKMax.
I've also been doing a second round of clearing the wardrobe and ironing pile. So far I've gathered a binbag full of stuff. I want to get my wardrobe back to a basic level so I've got space to pick up the odd nice thing if I see it. I've also been trying to simplify things. I've been partly inspired by the Uniform Project where one dress was worn everyday for a year. The clever bit was how the dress looked different every day. Sheena, the original blog author, uses all manner of accessories to create a different look. This is a bit too fashiony and girly for me but it did get me thinking. I don't need thousands of clothes, just a few basic bits. I've got a ton of jewellery and other bits and bobs. It would also save me a whole ton of ironing, which I hate with a passion. This can only be good :)
In other news, I've finally got round to finishing 'Two Caravans' - that was such a brilliant read. Every bit as good as 'A History of Tractors in Ukrainian'. I've now started my new Sean Stewart book. He's probably my favourite author and I'd been putting off getting Cathy's book for ages as it was a change of direction for him and I wasn't sure if I'd like it. Its written for teens and so far I'm really enjoying it. I decided not to write it off just because it was written for a different age group, Before I Die was too and that was amazing. Exceptionally moving but brilliant.

Monday, 30 August 2010

Button Moon


I've been playing round with the idea of getting a stall at a local Craft Fair. This has got me thinking about what else I can sell and also how I can best display my stock. As a result I've been making buttons from Fimo to add to my stock of bits and bobs. I've also been creating a clothes line from wire, card and felt with the idea that I can thread ribbon across it and hang cut outs of clothes with my earrings attached. I've even bought some tiny clothes pegs and have the washing line posts drying. I'll post some pics when I've got something working.
I was also thinking of buying some cheap mug trees to hang necklaces from. I'd also need a cheap mirror and a couple of chairs. Hmmmmm... this is going to need some thought but it might be doable. I also found some really cool DIY displays off this jewellery business blog. The displays are essentially low, off centre cones which you can display necklaces and bracelets on. Its a really idea and very low cost. It also wouldn't take a huge amount of skill to make :)

Sunday, 22 August 2010

More making & doing


I've just been checking my bank account and its fairly safe to say that its looking barer than Old Mother Hubbards Cupboard! I think I must have been spending more than normal so next month is definitely going to have to be a quiet one on the spending front.
I'm guessing that a large chunk of my cash going on lunch when I'm working and coffees when I'm out. With this in mind I think I'm going to need to dust down the lunch boxes and start bring my own lunch in. Same with coffees - if I want nice coffee then I'm going to need to bring it in with me.
On the positive side though I've been extra creative this month and have made quite a few new bits for the shop. I've mostly been using up some of my stash of beads and making earrings and a necklace from some wooden beads that I've picked up at car boot sales recently. I prefer making my jewellery by recycling, it makes me feel a bit greener and also keeps the cost of materials quite low and means I'm able to get some more unusual bits and bobs. I picked up some wine glass charms a few months back as they had some really pretty, little leaves hanging from them and they were only 10p. I've already made one pair of earrings from them and there is likely to be another pair in the pipeline too :)
I've also found out about a craft fair running in my area and they are looking for local artists and artisans to hire stalls. I'm certainly going to giving this a bit of thought. I just need to come up with a way for displaying my jewellery.

Thursday, 19 August 2010

Omnomnom

One of the best bits in Janet Street Porters 'Life's too f**king short' is a recipe for the most amazing pasta sauce known to man or animal! Even better there is next to no preparing and its so cheap and takes about 30 mins.

All you need is a punnet of cherry tomatoes, some olive oil, balsamic vinegar and some fresh herbs (basil, oregano, thyme in my case). Chuck your cherry tomatoes in an oven proof dish with a good drizzle of olive oil and balsamic vinegar and sprinkle on a few fresh herbs. Bung it in the oven at about 200C for 20 - 30 mins till the tomatoes are a bit burnt and serve on pasta. We also add a little sprinkle of grated cheese. Its so tasty. In fact its so tasty I keep meaning to take a pic but when its on the table I just want to eat it :)

Saturday, 14 August 2010

I can haz award?

I'm feeling particularly chuffed with myself today as my blog has received its first ever award :) :) Thank you Violetta for this - you've made my day!

The conditions of the award are:
Display award on blog :)


Link back to the person who gave you the award - Violet Elephant







List 15 other bloggers and pass the award onto them. Okay, here goes :)

1. Chic Steals
2. Bumpo's Place
3. The Closet Crafter
4. Crafty Loos
5. Lovely Godely
6. Minnie Burton Craft
7. Sew I Thought
8. Sleepy Robot 13
9. Sweets & Hearts
10. The World of Twiggy Peasticks
11. Trixie's Ethical Aesthetic
12. Kiddo's Shenanigans
13. Sugar Coated Chaos
14. World of Loulou
15. Christina RTC

Sunday, 8 August 2010

Decluttering

I've been a bit of a lazy blogger of late so I'm long overdue a post :/ I've been attempted to have a good clear out of some of the crap I've accumulated over the years and have been starting on the wardrobe and ironing basket as I have more clothes than I was ever going to wear, and more importantly iron! I managed to bag up 3 big carrier bags for my favourite charity shops and have another bag that I'm attempting to ebay. My ironing basket is now visible again and I've even inspired my boyfriend to think about doing the same.
Next job is to get back to selling my old CDs. Most of the older stuff I don't listen to and haven't for years. And then the vinyl. I've got an enormous box of vinyl records which really needs to go. I haven't owned a record player in years but I've been hoarding them all the same.
I've also been reading quite a bit lately and have about 3 on the go at the moment. I'm reading Janet Street Porters - Lifes to f**king short. This has been surprising good for my head and has really got me inspired. She covers everything from beauty products to cooking and looking after your home and relationships. You can probably guess by the cover that theres no beating round the bush, she gets straight to the point but its a really good read. I'm also reading Two Caravans by Marina Lewycka, who wrote A Short History of Tractors in Ukranian. I'm really enjoying this too and also have an Edgar Allan Poe book on the go via my DS. I think that will keep me busy for a while :)
I'm heading off down the plot for a bit of planting and cat stroking :)

Friday, 23 July 2010

Buzz buzz buzz


The plot is buzzing with life at the mo so we've been spending extra time down there. We've left the leeks to go to seed and the flowers look really beautiful. The bees seem to be appreciating them too :) Our raspberries are also producing tons of fruit this year so we've been nomming lots of raspberries straight off the plot. They make a very tasty snack when you're down the plot working.
The onions are looking good. Even the new ones I planted the other week from spare onion sets that some kind plot owner left out are also coming up. Hopefully that will keep us in onions for a bit. The sweetcorn is also coming along nicely too but that will be a while before they are ready to eat. We're also giving Spinach a go too this year so we're looking around for some yummy recipes to use this in. I'm thinking of giving Saag aloo a go :P Also the Sunflowers are all flowering and they look amazing. I love the way they all turn themselves to face the sun. Theres also something really happy about sunflowers too which I love.
The plot is also teaming with life too. As well as tons of bees I also spotted loads of ladybirds, grasshoppers and butterflies. I even saw some Small Tortoiseshells which has made me smile :) They were laying loads of eggs on the stinging nettles at the end of our plot so we made ourselves a little unpopular with our neighbour by not trimming it down but it was well worth the hassle. They look lovely.
I've also been working hard on 3 crafty swaps. I've sent of the earrings I made Tara for the Earring swap. Hopefully they should reach her in a week or two. I've also nearly finished making stuff for Kiddo for the Tiny Swap. I'm really chuffed with how the bits I've made have come out so I want to get on and finish that one this weekend. I'm also gradually getting bits done for the Spooky swap. So far I've made 4 things and the goal is 7 so thats going well too.
I've also made my friend a birthday pressy too :)
I've also picked myself up a second hand copy of the new Professor Layton game so I've been glued to that too :) Within a week I'd clocked up about 10 hours on it! I was chuffed with my purchase of this though as I was able to pay for it with the voucher I'd got from Computer Exchange when I traded in a few games last month.

Saturday, 3 July 2010

Back from Berlin


We just got back last night from the most amazing holiday. My first time ever abroad (well further afield than Ireland) and I loved it. As you have probably guested from the title, we went to Berlin. A beautiful city with so much to see, a week was no where near long enough but we had a nice relaxing potter around and managed to see a fair few of the sites.
Purely by chance and good luck we found that Berlin has a Dali Gallery devoted entirely to Salvador Dali and his work. While there wasn't any of his big oil paintings there, there was still loads to see. I felt like I'd died and gone to heaven :) We also became very well acquainted with Ampelmann, the German equivalent to the man in the traffic light. He's apparently only found in the former East German side of Berlin and is very cool. He is so popular that he even has his own shop (which can also be found online here). I thoroughly enjoyed doing the whole touristy bit and have come home with my own Ampelmann t-shirt :)
I'm planning on put together all my soveniers in some form of scrapbook or something similar. I think I need to recover from the journey home though. zzzzz
I also need to get going on the swaps that I've signed up to. I'm taking part in the second round of the tiny swap, the spooky swap and earrings swap :) I'll have to get my crafty act together and come up with some things. I've already got some ideas of what to make Kiddo for the tiny swap.
I'm also in the process of making something for a friends birthday :) I won't say anymore though as I know she's probably reading this ;)

Saturday, 26 June 2010

The Cutest News Story Ever!

I heard about this yesterday and had to share it.

This is the story of Oscar the cat who lost its back paws in an accident and has had new prosthetic paws fitted by Surrey based Orthopaedic Surgeon, Noel Fitzpatrick. To read the full story click here.

Thursday, 24 June 2010

Vintage Shopping


I've got some annual leave this week and next so I've been having a nice chilled out day in the charity shops and vintage emporium. The Vintage Emporium is great - only discovered it recently through boyfriend and its like Aladins' Cave. It enormous and stretches on for miles! Well, maybe a slight exaggeration but you get the idea :) I bought a few bits - some beads to feed my addiction, a pretty necklace for my neice's bday and lovely brown maxi dress with a massive, stretchy, sequined band at the top. I'm going to take some pics in a bit to add to this. I'm really chuffed with it. I was originally going for another dress I saw, another maxi dress but black with a white embroidered design up the side but when I tried it on it was not a pretty sight - :( It had two side splits and when I put it on the splits seemed to create arrows pointing to my belly! Not really where I wanted the eye drawn to! The other dress I got is much better as its all sparkley round the top \o/
I've also been making some more jewellery for my shop. I made a monochrome beaded necklace and a brown, wooden beaded necklace. Both were made from beads that I picked up when we went to Hexton.
I also finished the top I was making. I hasn't turned out how I was hoping so I'm going to take it in a bit so its more flattering . A piccie is on its way though. The gold around the top though looks great against the yellow.

Saturday, 19 June 2010

Sewing a Bit of Sunshine

I have been playing around with some fabric I bought ages ago. Its a really pretty shade of yellow and I got it from the remnants basket for about a pound. I've made a design for a simple vest top and even made myself a pattern. This is virtually unheard of for me - I usually dive in scissors first and then think about how its all going to go together.
So far so good. I've hemmed around the neckline and around the sleeves. I just need to hem the bottom and makes some straps. I've also got some cool gold ribbon that I picked up ages ago for about 20p that I want to use on the front to create a band horizontally across it. Hopefully it will come out okay. I've used a tape measure and everything so I can't say I didn't think this one through. :) I'll post some pics when its all done. I may even post a pic of me wearing it :)
I'm also going to make sure I finish this sewing project. I have got a bad habit of starting things and then putting them down when something new comes along. I've still got a shocking pink infinity dress and a tartan pair of trousers half finished in my fabric pile. I plan to get to those next so I can clear a few things off my making list.
I've also made a few new bits of jewellery for the shop. I made a necklace out of some of the beads I bought in Hexton last month and a necklace I made a few months back.
I was working this morning so to treat myself I had a little potter round the charity shops in Watford. There wasn't a great deal on offer today (which was probably good for my purse) but I did pick up a lovely strapless mint coloured dress for £3, a zip for 10p to go with some fabric I bought to make a skirt from, a mini electric whisk for frothing milk for 50p and some wine glass charms for 20p. Not bad for a days work :) The electric whisk will get a bit of a soak in some sterilising fluid and then hopefully it will be ready to go. I'm looking forward to my fist DIY latte.
I've also nearly finished The Secrets of the Ya Ya Sisterhood - I've never seen the film and I picked up the book from Oxfam Bookshops 50p shelf about a week ago. I've had my nose stuck in it ever since. Its a brilliant read. I've got The Count of Monte Cristo lined up as my next read as I've already started that on my DS.

Friday, 11 June 2010

Teeny weeny.....


I've just put on my cool, new lollipop necklace from Violetta :) I got it as part of the tiny swap she was running on CO&K :) Its one of the best swaps I've done - I loved every second of the making and enjoyed the getting even more! My stash includes a cupcake purse, a lovely green buttoned cuff, 2 rings, a pin cushion, a tiny friend in a matchbox :) tiny buttons, tiny ball of wool and knitting needles in a tiny shoulder bag! I'm now fully equipped should the Borrowers take up residence in our flat.
For Violetta I made a tiny elephant, a ladybird magnet, dice earrings, purple sealife earrings, wire bracelet and tiny cards.
Also this week I got my business cards for my online shop :) They look really cool and I've got about 250 so I'll have plenty to leave about and put in with my swaps.
My new glasses also turned up in the post Tuesday. I got them from glasses crafter - a website that sells prescription glasses online. I was so chuffed with them - they cost just £40 which is a fraction of the cost I would have paid in one of the high street options. My prescriptions really strong and I have special lightweight lens so they don't press too hard on my nose. They used to give me headaches as a child and the special lightweight glasses in rimless frames normally cost me around £350 so I'm a very happy bunny. These are the ones I got.
Finally, I've been baking rolls again - this time a variation on the date and walnut rolls, rosemary and sea salt. They were yummy. I also made my first loaf and that came out surprisingly well too.

Sunday, 6 June 2010

Mad Hatters and Red Queens


I spent yesterday dressed as Alice for an Alice in Wonderland themed Tea Party and can safely say that I have consumed somewhere near my own body weight in cake. There was so much cake! I bought biscuits but I think everyone else bought cakes. They were yummy though and I still felt stuffed until about 4 in the afternoon today. The party was at fellow CO&Ker Aimees' and for the occasion I made myself some Alice themed jewellery and an Alice band for my hair.
The Cheshire cat earrings were made from fimo and were extremely fiddly to make but I was really chuffed with how they came out. The oversized charm bracelet was made from odds and sods I had around the flat. The pocket watch was made from the old outside of a real pocket watch which I bought for about 50p ages ago at a charity shop. It had no innards though as my bf had tried to get it working and then couldn't get it back in its case so I had to make a clock face to go inside out of fimo.
Today has been spent mostly napping and catching z's. It was really warm so I didn't go out until quite late and bought myself a maxi dress for the summer from New Look. A bit naughty as I've been trying to save up for a holiday later this year but its really comfy and cool. Its shocking pink and strapless :)

Wednesday, 2 June 2010

The Sun has got his hat on \o/

Its been really summery today so I've been out and about getting my 10,000 lux, which is apparently what causes you to feel happy on sunny days. I had a good potter about the charity shops in Borehamwood yesterday and had some great finds. I bought a pretty, strappy summer dress for about £4 and some chinese balls (the ones which chime when you move them round in your hand). I also got a ball of some really cool purple wool - its really light and almost looks like something out of an art deco pic as its made up of two thin strands with little dots of colour every inch or so. Its really unusual and looks like it could have a lot of potential for making cool jewellery with. I also got a really pretty beaded bracelet for 99p which appears to be made from pearls and rose quartz.
Last night I also found a really cool tutorial on Mooky Chick on how to make 1940s hair dos. I had no idea how simple they are to do. The secret is apparently using foam rollers. I've had a play around with some foam strip that I had collected from some packaging ages ago. It was great fun :) I was also watching a whole load of tutorials on you tube on how to do 1940s make up. I don't know how I ended up looking at any of this stuff but it was amazingly interesting.
I've also been invited to a Alice and Wonderland themed tea party. This should be cool. I'll have to have a poke around the wardrobe and see what I can wear. I don't know if I have anything wonderlandish but I'll see what I can do :)

Sunday, 23 May 2010

What a Scorcher!


Its been really summery this week and its been a baking hot weekend. Yesterday we went to one of our favourite haunts - the Lavender Tea Rooms in Hexton. Its a not really doable if you don't drive so we don't go very often but when we go its wonderful. Its a really old fashioned Tea Room in the Village Hall. One side is Tea Rooms and the other side is Craft Market so as you can imagine, I'm in seventh heaven :). We stuffed ourselves silly on cake and tea and then had a little potter round the Craft Market. I managed to get myself 3 bags of mixed beads, some wool and some bits for putting in my hair for £5.50.
Yesterday afternoon I spent a good couple of hours sorting out my new beads and tidying my big box that I keep all my jewellery making stuff in.
I have also been making stuff for a new swap that I've signed up to. I've signed up to a Tiny swap so I'm making 7 tiny items for my swap partner, Violetta. I've already made 5 so I was on a roll last night.
I've also been making some new bits for my shop. I've been making Snake Pendants and Face Earrings from Fimo and using googly eyes. There a bit silly but the best things usually are.
I've also been reading tons. I've finished Bill Brysons' A Short History of Nearly Everything and now I'm reading Robert Winstons' Human Instinct. I'm enjoying reading something scientific for a change and have already been looking at the shelves to find what to read next.

Sunday, 9 May 2010

Sweeties \o/


I got my sweeties on Friday from Rhibi in Australia for the Sweetie swap we've been participating in on CO&K. So far they're all yummy, especially the raspberry and white chocolate bar which has unfortunately now disappeared :P
I've also been crafting away for the Newbie/Vet Swap which I'm participating in as a Vet. So far I've made a few bits and I've been really enjoying feeling a bit more creative. I've also retaken a lot of my product shots for my shop so feel free to check out the preview on the side bar. I think they're a really improvement so I'm pretty pleased with myself.
I'm reading another Bill Bryson book now as well as I'd finished A Walk in the Woods. I'm now reading a Short History of Nearly Everything (I think thats what its called). It's absolutely amazing. I'm already about half way through it and have been reading about the planet and the progress science has made in understanding the universe and our own planet. It's fascinating and really inspiring.
I was hoping to get down the plot today but the sky looks really grey and miserable. I was hoping it would clear up but its not looking overly hopeful right now and its already a quarter past four. I wanted to get down and continue weeding and plant out the pansies. At the moment they are spread around the herbs and onions in their pots where I would like to plant them. We also wanted to plant out the Sunflowers and they're on the windowsill at the moment and have grown loads since last week.

Monday, 3 May 2010

Cat Therapy


I love Bank Holiday weekends. They seem to go on forever :) In spite of the rain we had a little party this weekend for my bf's bday. We started at 1pm and finished about 1.30am, so it was a bit of a late one.
Today we went down the allotment and I did loads of weeding. My legs were killing me by the end but it was great. I took the Pansies down too and have put them in position so I can plant them out when we go down next weekend. We also got visited by both allotment cats too which was the best bit. We can't keep a cat where we live so we love topping up our cat stroking time down the plot. The ginger tabby is called Hastings and we've been seeing her since we took over the plot about 3 years ago. The black and white one is new and only been visiting for about 6 months. We think he's quite young as he's quite kitteny still. It was stalking mice and Hastings and even my bf's leg at one point.
The oregano has grown loads since I was last down. So too have the leeks and onions and I was weeding between the onions today. Our bulbs still haven't flowered yet but the dafs look pretty close. Our parsnips are also really big now and probably pretty close to harvesting :)
I've also joined up with two new swaps this week. I've joined the Newbie/Veteran swap as a Vet this time so I'm working on that. I'm also working on a Journal Swap too. I just need to send out my T-shirt refashion as thats practically done. I'm enjoying all the extra crafting. It keeps me inspired which I like.

Saturday, 24 April 2010

Got my creative mojo working overtime

I've been feeling really arty and crafty lately which has been really nice. I've done a few smallish paintings and been working on the t-shirt refashion swap that I'm running. I've just got the finishing touches of that to do and then its ready to send out. I've also been making a fair bit of jewellery :)
This is one of my recent paintings and my current favourite.

I think my extra creativeness has come from the really nasty cold I've had this week. I haven't been able to go into work and I think I've had a temperature yesterday and part of today so my brains been extra strange. I also think boredom is an excellent motivator. I absolutely hate colds and flu and I'll do pretty much anything to take my mind off it so I think that's what's happened.
I've also been having fun trawling through you tube and have been watching loads of Steven Wright. If you're not familiar with him he's an exceptionally surreal American Comedian. I've loved him for years and remember first seeing him on telly donkeys years ago, probably late 80s early 90s.
I've also been reading some Bill Bryson which has also been making me chuckle :D. I'm reading A Walk in the Woods and it has had me chuckling most nights. I can't believe I hadn't read anything by him till now. My bf's a big fan and so is one of my best friends but I'd never quite got round to reading anything till now.

Monday, 19 April 2010

Oooops

I think I've turned into a girl :/ I keep buying clothes and I've worn skirts twice this week. I'm going to blame it on the sunshine. For some unknown reason this seems to happen most years. Its not like Spring and Summer are a new invention but every year I have a little panic about not having any clothes for the summer and go a little crazy.
I need to tighten my belt (in every sense) as I've overspent this month and had to transfer some savings. I've also still got another week to go before pay day :/
In my defence I did go to Camden twice this month. I challenge anyone to go there and not come home with some naughty purchase. I got the most amazing wrap skirt. Its shocking pink (one of my favourite colours) with black net over the top. Its wonderful and long and so comfy. I'm a little dubious of wearing it to work though as I have this little paranoia about wrap skirts as they don't just come undone. One minute you're dressed and the next minute you're not! I might be shocking pink too if that happens :/
My repotted Pansies are mostly doing okay. I few of them have gone a bit on the straggley side but on the whole they should be okay. Mr Cyclamen on the other hand doesn't look too healthy. I think he's getting too much sun in the spot he's in and has gone a bit frazzled looking. I'm going to try watering him a bit more and see if that perks him up. Fingers crossed.

Sunday, 11 April 2010

Spring has Sprung (fingers crossed)

I've just come (well a couple of hours ago) from our allotment and spring is definitely looking like its here \o/. The raspberries have lots of fresh shoots and don't look like giant, dead sticks and the lavender looks like lavender again, rather than a pile of dried twigs and our neighbour had daffodils and tulips flowering. Our bulbs appear to be a bit more laid back and don't even appear to have buds yet but that's fine. They'll be flowering soon. Unfortunately the weeds are also back but, well, ho hum you can't have it all. Also weeds are only weeds because they are growing somewhere you don't want them to grow. They're also incredibly tough and often quite beautiful so I shouldn't be too hard on them.




I've also been making more jewellery bits and bobs. I'm making some sweet inspired bits for Rhibi, who I'm partnered with in the 2nd round of the sweetie swap. We've set a limit on ourselves as we are both on pretty tight budgets so I bought a fivers worth of goodies yesterday and thought I'd make some other bits and bobs to add to it. I didn't seem to have my mojo for the first round which is a bit of a shame but hopefully Rhi will like what I've made. I've made jelly snake (except made from fimo) pendant and earrings and a lollipop pendant and a rainbow beaded bracelet.

Friday, 9 April 2010

Good posture, zentangles and pretty flowers :)


Finally got my posh new chair from sit kneel chairs yesterday \o/. Its very posh with purple seat and kneeling pad.
The idea is that rather than slouch in your chair you sit on the top pad with your knees resting on the bottom. It forces you too sit more upright and with a much better posture. The tough bit now is getting used to it. Yesterday I was sat on it for a couple of hours but ended up with a bit of a backache. I don't think you realise how bad your posture is until you try and change it but my back will get used to its new chair. And its a nice bright purpley colour so you can't really go too far wrong :)
I've also been keeping up the zentangling so by request here are a couple of my attempts.


Not exactly ready for the Tate but I've been having fun doing them :)
Also I have bought myself some more seeds for the trough that we keep out on the balcony. This year I have gone with labelia, sweet peas and morning glories. They are all pinky, purpley, bluey colours so they should all look pretty together and the sweet peas and morning glories should climb up the railings and look extra nice :)
Hopefully it will look as nice as last year and we'll have something pretty to look at when we sit out on the balcony.

Saturday, 3 April 2010

Room to grow

Yay for me! I finally got round to repotting the Winter Pansies I started off before Christmas. I had them growing in a pot inside a sealed sandwich bag and had been meaning to repot them for months. Sorry plants for the wait but I finally did it tonight. While I was at it I also repotted my Iris bulbs and my Cyclamen. The Iris's had got some aphids climbing all over them so I had to give them a good clean under the tap to get all visitors off. They are all hopefully feeling happier now and have some room to grow.
Now I just need to get my arse in gear and get down the allotment a bit more often and get some new stuff growing there. Thankfully we were quite productive in the Autumn so theres plenty growing (in amongst the weeds) so we shouldn't get any nasty letters from the council just yet.
I've also been making and have made myself a business card holder. It was a little project I came up with last year when I was doing the Recycle swap and I'd been meaning to make one for myself so I finally did that too. I also made a how-to and have uploaded that to Cut Out & Keep so hopefully that will be on there by the morning :) All in all a quite productive evening.
Just one last thing. I've been following Trish from CO&K and she recently posted something about Zentangles on her blog and since then I have been zentangling away like a mad women. That's not too hard considering I was a mad women to begin with, but nevertheless they are pretty cool. If you want to know more just check out below.

Sunday, 28 March 2010

Hi My names Kat and I'm a Haribo addict ....

My waistline seems to expanded over the last few months so after some soul searching I've decided to own up to my addiction. I think I need to kick my habit and go cold turkey as I found to my cost today that an open packet is an empty packet :/ Goodbye sour cherry yumminess _o/
I've been charity shopping today and I've had an amazing find :) I found this beautiful, crinkly, magenta skirt. It was £4.75 in Scope and it fits really well and has a kind of pointy, fairy-like hemline. I also picked up a nice pair of jeans with my favourite shade of sugary pink trim. They were also a bargain at £4.50.

I finally got down to my allotment plot today. It has recovered well from the flooding and the leeks we planted last year are really big and the parsnips are really coming along well too. My bf also pointed out a few rows of onions which have just started coming up. We were really chuffed as we've not been good recently at getting ourselves down to the plot. The best bit is that tons of crocus' have come up this year. They aren't flowering yet but there's plenty of leaves and buds. Fingers crossed that they'll be few to see next time.

Monday, 22 March 2010

Lights off

On Saturday 27th March at 8.30pm the WWF will be asking people to switch off all lights to demand action on Climate Change. To find out more check out the website.

Sunday, 21 March 2010

HTML 0 Kitkat 1

I've been faffing around since yesterday trying to make a button for my blog. After playing around most of yesterday evening and nearly throwing the laptop out the window a few times cos it kept crashing, I finally had a brainwave. I got back down to business this morning (well 1ish) and got it cracked \o/ I have never done anything in HTML so I was pretty chuffed with myself.
I've also had my nose stuck in another book today. As I got through The Solitaire Mystery at neckbreaking speed I've now started The Minotaur takes a cigarette break (I think that's what its called). Totally different to what I'd been reading before but it looks promising.
Been making lots of jewellery tonight and have made a nice necklace from the vintage beads I picked up the other weekend. I also made another pair of earrings from the beads too and a pair to match the wooden beaded one I made the other day. I must get piccy taking tomorrow so I can post some pics and get some put up in the shop.
I'm going to make a concerted effort to go down the plot tomorrow, basically because I've been a very lazy gardener and haven't been down for ages. I want to check out the state of things after the flooding and see if any of my bulbs are coming up. The grounds probably going to be like glue though so I must remember to wear wellies. The soil down this way is really clayey which means we'll probably come home caked in the stuff.

Friday, 19 March 2010

New design

As you can probably see, I've had a little play around with the look of my blog. I have also had a change around of my shop logo and banner so please feel free to have a look and let me know what you think. I'm quite pleased with it, especially as its completely my work - I painted a couple of cats to try out in a logo or banner and went with the one with his paw up and then uploaded it into Gimp and added the text.
I've also been crafting away making more jewellery for my shop. I've uploaded 3 of the earrings I've made and I've just got 2 necklaces to add. I just need to have a fiddle around with ways of displaying necklaces. Earrings are easy enough as they hang nicely from the wine glasses I've got but a necklace is a bit tricky. I might see what vases we have around the house and try those out.
I've also finished Sophies World - a bit too clever for its own good towards the end but I still really enjoyed it. I've also read The Solitaire Mystery by the same author and that was amazing. I read it in about 4 days and it was one of the best books I've read for a while. It was similar to Sophie's World in that he put a lot of philosophy into the story and made it an interest of several of the characters but it managed to got loose the story to being overly clever. The story was lovely and I'd recommend it to anyone who likes something a bit magical.

Tuesday, 9 March 2010

Beads, Spiders and the Meaning of Life

Just before Christmas I spotted the coolest invention online, its a spider-friendly spider catcher :) Our shed at the allotment appears to have become the local hang out for the spiders of Hertfordshire. As a result getting anything in or out of the shed has become a bit of a delicate operation involving long poles and some, not so child friendly language. In fairness to the 8 legged ones they are appropriately dressed for the allotment and can be found wearing boots and heavy coats (well thats what it looks like to me!) so they maybe planning on helping out with the work. Nevertheless, I'm not their biggest fan but don't want to kill them. This little invention was therefore met with delight. It also bought back some memories of growing up. My dad is of a similar mindset and has come up with numerous, ingenious ways of catching our little and not so little visitors. I therefore thought I had to get one for him too, so one has winged its way to him too for his birthday (along with chocolate). Here's a little glimpse at the device.

Anyway, thats spiders.....
Also this week I've kind of fallen of the wagon and been buying beads again. In my defence though I haven't bought any for ages so I'd been strict until now with my bead diet. My favourites so far are a toss up between some glass beads I bought from a vintage store and some pretty ones I have got from Beads Unlimited. As well as those I've bought a load of different coloured wooden beads. I'm looking forward to having a proper play with them tomorrow and hopefully making some more jewellery for my shop.
I've also been reading loads recently. After finishing A Short History of Tractors in Ukranian I have now started and almost finished Sophies World by Jostein Gaarder. My mum bought it for me a few years back and I started it but never finished it. Its an amazing read and I've been totally engrossed for the last few days. Its written as a kind of mystery centring round a 14 year old girl in Norway and her meetings with a mysterious philosopher called Albert Knox. In amongst the story is Sophie's journey through the history of philosophy right from Greek times to almost present day. I love philosophy and studied it at A-level and uni but I have never come across anything that has been able to explain it in such an accessible way. Its brilliant. I can't wait to find out how it ends :)

Wednesday, 3 March 2010

All Organised :)



Spring is obviously in the air as I have been tidying and sorting the last couple of days. My task of the today has been to sort out all my art and craft stuff. My boyfriend picked up some nice shelves from our local Emmaus to store it all on so I'm pretty pleased with how its all looking.
Before I used to have all my art stuff in a big box under the bed and my beads where in a box beside the sofa and my sewing stuff was near where I sit and the wool was stacked up by the back wall along with my bag of fabric. The fabric still needs a home but everything else has fitted really well.
Over the last couple of weeks I've also been trying to be a little healthier and have been trying out Graze. They are a UK based, online company from which you can order healthy munch. You select all the stuff you like the look off from their enormous range and they will send it out to you on the day you choose. It gets sent through the post and fits through the letter box and costs just £2.99. So far I've been really impressed and I've tried a few bits and bobs that I wouldn't have tried before.
I got an email today from the chairperson of our allotment committee telling us that the plot has been flooded. Usually it floods down by the river when we've had a lot of rain but this time the entire plot is effected. My bf went down to investigate and our plot is under a couple of inches of water. The shed looks fine though and we're sure it will drain away. We've looked on the bright side and have taken the view that at least its better than the other year when we had no rain and we lost tons of veg as we just couldn't water everything as much as they needed.
We probably need to be starting a few things off indoors about nowish so I'm hoping to pick up some onion seeds to get them going. We've also been given some seed potatoes too.
Last night I also went out to my first Meditation group in over 2 years. It usually clashes with work but I've got a week off this week so I thought I'd give it a go. The group was small but I really liked it. It was nice to try out some new techniques and do it with others. Also I'd forgotten how nice the environment was and how comfy the big cushions were. With a bit of luck my hours will change a bit in the next couple of months so I'm hoping to make this a more regular thing.

Saturday, 27 February 2010

Inchies


I've been a bit of a slack blogger of late again. I'm not quite sure why but time seems to have picked up pace this month and got away from me.
I had a little experiment last Wednesday and tested out the matinee that is on most Wednesday afternoons at my local theatre. I saw Sherlock Holmes with Robert Downey Jr and once I'd got over the awkwardness of being the youngest person there by about 20 years I really enjoyed it. I got myself settled down with my 50p hot chocolate and bag of sweeties and whiled away a couple of hours in the company of Robert Downey Jr and Jude Law. Not a bad way to spend the day and tickets cost a bargain price of £4! I think I can safely say that experiment was a success.
I've also been doing a bit of shopping round my local charity shops and had a real bargain fest. For about £20 I picked myself up a mid length, black, velvet coat, a grey fleece hoody, a little, short, brown dress, a cool, bright green, bag for work, a bronze, sparkly cardie and a bathroom set of smellies which were unopened. It was a good days bargain hunting. Unfortunately its not that good all the time but thats largely why you have to get things when you see them.
On the crafting front I've been getting into making inchies. I can't remember if I've described these before but they are basically inch square scraps of fabric decorated with beads and embellishments. I've been making them for a swap and they are on the theme of spring. I've loved doing them and once I finally get round to sending these off I think I'll make some for myself.
Finally, on the spodding front, I have been thoroughly addicted to the latest GTA game (Chinatown Wars) and have been totally engrossed. For the first time ever in a GTA game I've actually finished all of the missions! \o/ I've just got a few odds and sods to do and I'll have totally completed it. Once again its been yet another reason why my DS was such a great buy.
I'm hoping all the snow has come to an end as I must get myself down our allotment. My boyfriend went down last week to empty our compost bin of kitchen scraps and its apparently looking good. I've also bought some Nasturtium seeds today. I'm hoping to put them in the trough on the balcony and down the plot. I know they will probably go wild but they have such pretty flowers.

Monday, 15 February 2010

February

Sweeties from US
I lost track of time for a bit then so haven't posted anything for about two weeks. Oooops.
Not much has been going on the last couple of weeks. I finished reading How to be Idle. That was a good read and I enjoyed it. It was probably because it was quite good for the soul to read something that says doing nothing is good and that actually promotes guilt-free time off. I would definitely recommend it, not just to workaholics but to anyone that struggles to sit still and relax. Some of it I found a bit idealistic and not entirely practical but I liked the fact that he he acknowledges that. I would also whole heartedly agree with the concept that work costs money and cutting down on work doesn't mean you'll necessarily be giving up on your quality of life. I cut down to 30 hours a week last April and it was one of the best things I did :)
I've started reading A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian and so far I'm really enjoying this. It reminds me a little of A Spot of Bother by Mark Haddon. It has a similar wit to it.
I've taken up another craft swap on CO&K, I am making 12 Inchies to send out. I'd never heard of Inchies until a week ago but basically, from what I can gather, they are inch squared pieces of fabric which you decorate through stitching and using buttons, beads, anything else. I've got a couple on the go at the moment. The theme of them is 'springtime'.
I also finally sent of the Sweet/Candy Swap to Kira in the US and have recieved hers. It was packed full of yummy sweeties from the US including Reeces Cups, which I love :P.
Finally I got to have a trip out to the Hare Krishna Temple, just outside of Watford on Friday and had a really nice time. The grounds were so peaceful and must look amazing when everything is flowering. We also got a brief tour of the temple and saw people making up the flower garlands which get put on the idols first thing in the morning (apparently 4.30am) and we saw prayer time. I also brought some snacks from the shop and we were given some yummy sweets when we left. Although I'm not religious there were a few things that really struck me about the temple and their philosophy. Firstly they seem to take the view that everyone has value and something to contribute no matter what their age, disability, background, etc and rather than just say it we actually saw it in practice. Also everyone seemed so at peace and friendly.

Saturday, 30 January 2010

Fishy Wishies


I had my first ever visit to the London Aquarium last week and it was lovely. So calming just watching the fishes swim around and do their thing. The sharks were a little on the scary side but I am pleased to say that I managed the Shark Walk, where you walk over one of the shark tanks on thick, reinforced glass. Initially I was worried that all my sweetie eating would be my undoing and I'd crash through the glass into some sharks waiting mouth but this didn't happen :) Phew! Although they're not exactly pleasing on the eye there is something oddly fascinating about them. Luckily there were no enormous sharks like those you see on telly but they were still sharky enough for me :)
I'm also having a bit of any experiment at the moment with some tartan fabric I picked up ages from the YMCA Charity shop. I only paid £2 and there was masses of it so I'm having a go at making some trousers out of it. I'm using an old pair of combats to make a pattern from and so far so good. I don't know how they're going to turn out but its a bit of fun and I quite like bigger projects. When I was younger I never had the patience to sew something bigger like clothing. I always used to get over excited and rush it so they didn't come out particularly well or very wearable. I'm quite happy now though to take it gently and I know that if I take my time the stitching will be stronger and look much better. I'll post a piccie if they turn out okay. I might even be brave and post one if they don't :)
I've also had my first go at Blanket Stitch. I found a tutorial in a sewing magazine I got ages ago and I tried it on a lion pin cushion I'm making for a swap. I quite like how its come out and might try using this again. At the moment I'm sewing on the lion's mane and thats proving to be a task and a half. I also keep finding little bits of yellow wool stuck to everything :)
I'm currently reading a couple of books at the moment - one on my DS at night - Under the Greenwood Tree by Thomas Hardy and during the day I'm reading How To Be Idle by Tom Hodgekinson. Both quite readable although I haven't got into the first one properly yet. How to Idle is perfect train reading on my way to and from work and I'm pretty impressed how much I've got through already.

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Horray for my new furry bag :)





I've been a busy bee the last couple of days and found up a bag I was making ages ago but hadn't finished. I just needed to sew the strap on it, the buckle on the front and the flap and some pockets inside. I've done almost all of that now (just the pockets inside to do) and I'm so chuffed with it :) It will hopefully become my new work bag if it all turns out well.
I've also made myself a pair of fingerless gloves from an old pair of socks. I made these using a tutorial on CO&K. These are excellent. Just the thing to wear while spodding to stop yourself getting cold fingers.
I have also been baking tonight after quite a break and have made some cheese scones. They are cooling at the moment but I'm hoping they will be pretty yummy. They're from an old recipe I had which I modified. The recipe was for fruit scones so I just kicked out the sugar and fruit and added grated cheese.
I'm finished making up one of my swaps but unfortunately I'm going to have to wait till payday before sending out as it needs to go to the US. The swap is a sweet swap so I've bought about a fivers worth of sweeties which you can get in the UK. I hope she likes them. I'm looking forward to seeing what she sends me :P.
I've stalled a little on the favourite animal swap but I think I can get that done for payday too. I just need to get my crafty arse in gear.