Monday, 30 January 2012

Photo Scavenger Hunt 2012 - January

Good evening

Yep the first month of 2012 is almost over - we've had a right mixed bag this month - sunshine/showers/a snow flurry or two as well as birthdays and pantos. As ever I set out with the best intentions of completing the Scavenger list - I have with of course a few sneaky tweaks to suit me!!

Entrance - the back garden gate to my Grandmas house

2 - happy shoe wearing feet loving being out in the world and splashing in puddles!!

In the distance - a ship on the horizon off Southwold.

Warning - a sign along the prom @ Southwold

blur - I struggled till I remembered we might own a Blur CD - seems in fact we own 4 and the teens soon pinched them!

Company - I must confess to enjoying being by myself and liking nothing more than my crochet and a good magazine for company!

In season - these snowdrops are the first to appear each year in a sunny border of a nearby garden. A lovely reminder that spring is just around the corner.

Information - instructions included with my new iron - I never knew it was dangerous to iron the clothes I was wearing ;)

Mess - a collage of parts of big sons room - it got worse that this and tbh isn't the messiest teen room I've seen - just wish he'd use a litter bin instead of his floor!

Odd - the odd sock collection - if they aren't paired soon then they'll become dusters!!

Soft - Joules socks bought as a birthday pressie.

In my bathroom - a row of shower gels - normally just a supermarket cheapie but as its been Christmas we've a selection - isn't Santa kind to bring the teens more Lynx!!

Thanks Kathy as always - I look forward to seeing everyone elses pics and am looking forward to the list for Feb - am suspecting hearts might make an appearance ;)

See you soon - I've a tale of a little mix-up to share with you!!

xxx Vicki xxx

Friday, 27 January 2012

Where did that week go?

Good morning

Ok where has the past week gone? It seems in a whirl of appointments, meeting and generally chasing my own non-existent tail! How can it be that I now have children old enough to be (1) sitting GCSEs & thinking about A level choices and  (2) choosing GCSE options?? Doesn't seem two minutes since the highlight of our after school time was a reading session with Biff, Chip, Kipper & Floppy and learning times tables. Now there seem to be constant forms to fill in and choices to make that affect the rest of their lives!

With all this going on there has been little time for crafting this week - however I have cracked the art of crocheting flowers with a little help from the wonderful Lucy & Attic24 - I love her tutorials - lovely clear pictures and idiot proof instructions;

This just needs a brooch back sewing on and then I'm sure it will be worn lots and lots.

We've had a real mix bag of weather in the last few weeks - almost springlike days, some very wet ones and a couple of decent frosts too. The borders in the garden are starting to spring to life and I snapped this first snowdrop the other day - its since been joined by a few friends;

As its almost the end of the month, I thought it was time to play with MosaicMaker to come up with the first monthly mosaic of 2012;

From top left - The cherry tree with the sun setting behind it / Crochet jar cover / January sunshine @ Southwold/ Cake / Little birthday boy / more cake / Freedom at last as my bike & I were reunited / frost covered leaves / the frost patterns on the outside of the conservatory window.

Right I suppose as its Friday it means time to write a shopping list - the cupboards and fridge are looking bare again. BTW did you see Superscrimpers on Monday night - did you see how much food that family threw away in a year?? Whilst my bill will be over £50, we won't be throwing anything away - if we buy it, we use it - I always check the dates on things and if I won't use it straight away then it gets frozen. The dreaded use by dates on most things - apart from meat/fish - get ignored - MrVV has survived for 22 years living with me and eating yoghurts etc which are several days past their dates!

Have a good weekend whatever you are doing - we've friends coming for lunch and a late works Christmas do to enjoy!

See you soon

xxx Vicki xxx

Sunday, 22 January 2012

Monthly Makes 2012 - January

Good morning

Thanks for all the comments on the CK review - I'm just sorry that so many people have had problems with stuff and have been left feeling disappointed. I do think that if we have a problem with things we should email these companies and let them know - I did - just waiting to hear back.

Anyhow, I thought I high time to show you my makes for January - I know its not over for another 9 days but next week is looking hectic so I don't think I'll get much more done.

I've started well - lots of smallish makes - some for pressies and others are destined for the craft fair pile. There's even a few of things in there for me!

From top left - a purse for a friend, infinity scarf for craft fair, owls - a mix of pressies and fair stock, 2 teacup candles - one for me and one for a pressie, THAT CK cushion, my first attempt a crocheted jar cover, bunting for the fair, my upcycled Debbie Bliss Eco cotton infinity scarf and more bunting.

I think that's not a bad load for a month - looking at my to-make list theres loads more still to make towards the fair - I need a raggie making week I think. Plus I've still loads of family birthdays coming up and several for my S&B group friends too.

I'll leave you with a self taken pic of my new scarf - its so soft and snuggly - I think more of this yarn needs to find its way into my stash;

Right - I can finally hear noises from upstairs - guess it means MrVV & the teenagers are starting to wake up. Time for more coffee and then lets see what Sunday has to throw at me - nothing to taxing I hope - I'd rather be crocheting!!

See you soon

xxx Vicki xxx


Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Product Review - Cath Kidston Crochet Kit in a Book Tin

Hello again

In fairness to other bloggers and potential buyers of this product, I thought it time to write a review. It wouldn't be fair only to write positive reviews and recommend things if I didn't balance it occasionally with reviews for stuff that wasn't so good.

I received the Crochet Kit in a book tin as a Christmas present - it was something I wanted and I was very much looking forward to some hooky fun whilst watching mindless television. I'm a big Cath Kidston fan and on paper this set seemed perfect for me. It promised so much - 6 balls of yarn in CK colours and instructions to make a cushion and of course a rather lovely tin for me to use afterwards to store my crochet bits and bobs in.

It started well - yes the colour were lovely and the initial instructions were easy to follow - though as it was a classic granny square I didn't need to follow them to closely. The yarn however was proving annoying to say the least - regularly it split and I had to pull back to sort this out. I got very annoyed at the regular joins in the yarn too and in places it thinned down to one strand -like it had been wound by a beginner and with not much care - not something you'd expect from a brand like this. Normally when I crochet I use a basic acrylic yarn from my local shop and I never have the same problems with that.

The next problem was as I started on the 2nd side I realised I wasn't going to have enough yarn to complete the project - again surely someone should have checked this during the development stage? I contacted CK and they promised to send me some extra balls of yarn.

I then started looking on the net to find that I wasn't the only person who had had these problems - several mentioned the very poor quality of the yarn and the fact there wasn't enough to complete the project - I advise any of those who had these problems to contact CK direct - then they might realise that they need to test these products out before selling them on to their buyers.

Even after being supplied with extra yarn it still didn't mean I could finish the project properly - the instructions became as clear as mud and I ended up colour matching from my own supplies and finishing it off my way.

 One side

The other.

The overall verdict - a product with a premium price that promises so much but fails to deliver.

Would I recommend this set to others? - no.

Will I buy from CK again? To be honest I've become quite disillusioned with CK and their products and the quality of the recent things I've bought is noticeably poorer than the original items. I think in future it will have to be something amazing before I hand over my hard earned pennies - and yes you can quote me on that!!

xxx Vicki xxx

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Another day - another cake

Happy Birthday Little Son - 14 today :)

Another chocolatey cake was asked for - and for a change I thought I'd add 14 candles rather than the number shaped ones - never again - it took me ages to light those!

All quiet here now - he's gone to the cinema with Big Son to watch the latest Sherlock movie.

We now have a 3 week gap before the cake making starts again!!

xxx Vicki xxx

Monday, 16 January 2012

PIF winners and other stuff

Good afternoon

Did you have a good weekend? We did :) It started with a walk on Saturday morning with MrVV went via the local Panto (oh yes it did) and ended in a family meal out - rather lovely.

Right important stuff first - remember I was a PIF winner in December and in turn I offered 3 people the chance to receive a parcel from me sometime in the next few months??

Well there were lots of takers - sadly there can only be 3 winners. So in true blog fashion, the names were put into a vintage teacup and the following 3 were the first ones out;

and last but not least

Ladies I will be in touch to get your details and then all you have to do is sit back and wait a few weeks for the postie to bring you a parcel and then in turn you offer a parcel for 3 lucky people - simples :)

In other stuff news;

I received some more yarn from Cath Kidston so I can finish my Crochet Tin project. Lets just say this hasn't been the experience I expect from a brand like CK and the quality of the yarn leaves a lot to be desired. I think in the fairness of it all, I shall be writing a proper review so that others who are considering buying it are prepared :(

Much better news - I decided the other night to make something for me - a fancied one of the infinity scarves I've made for pressies and the forthcoming craft fair. I decided to recycle some yarn I'd previously used for a couple of knitting projects (blog posts on 27.9.10. & 16.9.10.) Its a Debbie Bliss product her Eco cotton yarn - the colours are lovely and its great to work with. Firstly the 2 scarves had to be unravelled - that took a little while;

I've finished now the basic scarf - I'm just waiting for another ball to arrive so I can finish the edges off neatly and then I can show you the finished result.

Lastly for today - there have apparently been some fantastic sunrises/sunsets recently - sadly our house doesn't get to see them. In the mornings the rising sun is hidden behind other houses and trees and even in the afternoon its hidden behind a massive oak tree in a neighbours garden. I did manged to get one photo the other day which shows the glow of the setting sun, between the bare branch of our cherry tree and the said oak tree.

Right - another day - another birthday cake is baking - this time for little son who turns 14 tomorrow! Oh and there are parcels to wrap too.

See you soon

xxx Vicki xxx

Thursday, 12 January 2012

Cake & thrifting

Good afternoon

Brrrrr - after almost springlike weather for a few days its started to turn chilly here in Suffolk. I cycled into town this morning and rather wished I'd worn my hat - apart from a cold head, my sightly damp hair got blown about and I came home looking rather too yeti like! I'm also sporting a rather eclectic selection of clothes - skirt, tights, 2 t-shirts, woolly waistcoat and I've just added a cardi too - back to warm & woolly again.However I am so loving being able to get out and about its going to have to get pretty cold before I stop my now daily cycles. So far my ankle is holding up well - in fact it seems more mobile and less swollen :)

The birthday cake I was baking in the last post turned out rather well;

The topping is a chocolate ganache made with 2 bars of MrVV's favourite Dairy Milk chocolate. As its rather rich it should last quite a few days - probably till its time for another cake next Tuesday when Little Son turns 14 - he's not so little now - he's as tall as me and those bones are still rumbling so am sure it won't be long till our different in height is very noticeable.

I also mentioned in my last post a lovely CS find - here it is - a 50's frosted hyacinth bulb vase;

Its cleaned up rather well and I'm in two minds whether to keep it or too sell it on.

One of my plans for 2012 is to be more thrifty and I've been spring cleaning cupboards to make sure that things in there are either being used or if they aren't then they need to sold on. I found at the back of one cupboard the base and coffee grinder from a long departed blender. I nearly put them in the car boot box when I had a brainwave. I like to keep a stock of breadcrumbs in the freezer and normally have to grate the crusts which is fiddly - I wondered if the grinder might work and be able to produce crumbs? Hurrah it did so its now allowed to stay and it means that all crusts can be crumbed much quicker;

Last night was finally our S&B group Secret Santa swap - its been hard getting the group together as real life often gets in the way. Well finally last night all those that wanted to take part were there. Parcels were secretly put into a bag and then when they were all in - the pile of pressies was put out into the middle of the table. Everyone took turns to choose a parcel - I wish I'd taken photos there were some wonderful makes.

Here's the contents of the parcel I received;

This embroidered heart hanging (I've shown you both sides) was made by one of the ladies who runs the group - I'd only been admiring earlier in the evening something similar she was making so I was thrilled with this. The fabric are all iridescent and I think this needs to hang somewhere where it can catch the light and the breeze - I have a place in mind - just need a hook putting in place.

Lastly the postie has just been - thank you Annie - The Felt Fairy. I won some bag handles in a recent giveaway - its part of the encouragement for the Monthly Makers. Am also loving the Boy George postcard that was in there - I so loved him when I was younger. I've got some fabric that will make the perfect bag - just need to find a template for what I have in mind.

See you soon

xxx Vicki xxx 

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Freewheeling :)

Good afternoon

I saw the physio yesterday and as you can see from the next photo - he said YES :)

So once I'd had a quick practise around the garden and down the drive this morning, it was time to load up my basket and head out into the big wide world - carefully. The old wives saying is right - riding a bicycle isn't something you forget. I headed across town to visit my Grandma - thought I'd surprise her. It was lovely to be able to visit under my own steam. I was there for ages having a coffee and good natter. I'm going back next week to start helping her with her housework again and also to have our weekly put the world to rights session.

Next stop, the yarn shop - I've starting making towards a craft fair and I needed desperately to replenish my yarn supplies further - once I got the new stuff home and put it into my basket, I couldn't resist taking a photo - so colourful;

I also called into all the charity shops including the one I help in. I'm starting back tomorrow to do a short shift - building up gradually as I get stronger again - can't wait. I found something in one of the other shops but I'll show you that next time - it needs a good clean up first.

The teacup candles I showed you in the last post came out really well - I'm very pleased with them. I think I'll be making more of these in the coming months. Just need to find some interesting containers as not everyone I know is a teacup sort of girl!

Lastly for today (am blogging whilst I wait for MrVV's birthday cake to cook - he reaches the grand old age of 45 tomorrow!), here's something I've been working on this week - felt owls. These are proving rather addictive to make - again more stock towards next months fair - however the dark blue & red one belongs to big son - he saw me making these and asked for one for himself - apparently owls are cool.

Right best go and check this cake and then possibly hook up a few more pieces of bunting with my new yarns.

See you soon

xxx Vicki xxx

Friday, 6 January 2012

A Little Bit of Hooking on a Friday

Good afternoon

Blimey the end of the week already. I hope everyone is ok after all the awful weather we've had this week? I was quite glad to have a few days indoors. Thanks for all the comments on my last post.

(1) I'm feeling much better - better than I have for months tbh.

(2) I've emailed CK and they are 'looking for some matching yarn' for me. I hope I hear something soon - certainly not what you'd expect from a company as high profile as that.

Well today has been a good one - the weather has been gorgeous - sunny and quite warm. I decided to do something I've not done for over 4 months - I walked into town and back - all by myself! It felt rather strange to start with not having someone there but I soon got used to it. It was lovely to have a wander and a good look about without being hurried up. Sadly the charity shops turned up nothing at all - lots of unloved christmas pressies lurking on the shelves and a distinct lack of pretty china and vintage wares. My favourite little shop opens again on Monday so I'm hopeful they might have some nice things for me to browse through.

Back to the hooking - I spent most of yesterday evening sitting at the computer, hook in one hand and best concentrating face on (yes the one with the tongue sticking out). I was looking at lots of the tutorials on Lucy's lovely blog. I thought it high time I progressed from granny squares to other sorts of crochet. Well here's the first 2 results;

 One crochet jar jacket - just using random odds of yarn from my basket. I treated myself to the daffs when I was out today - sort of reward for my myself.

 The first of what hopefully will be many Teeny Tiny Hearts - I picture strings of these all over the house.

 My haul from town today - new yarn so I can start on some makes for the craft fair and for forthcoming birthdays, bobble trim to make feet for the owl in the first picture and a new magazine for those need to put my feet up moments.
Whilst I'm typing I'm waiting for another new project to set. I treated myself to some candle making supplies and have just made the first 2 - one for me and another for a pressie. I'll let you see the finished results next time - they now look like they are starting to set.

Have a lovely weekend, whatever you are doing. I'm hoping we'll get out and about as the forecast is promising. MrVV has also promised to give my bike an overhaul - I'm back to physio on Monday and I'm hoping to be given the green light to start gently cycling again.

Until next time

xxx Vicki xxx

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Getting comfy

Good afternoon :)

Thanks for all the comments on my CK problem. I've contacted them via facebook and now email and am waiting a reply from them.

This is my view for most of today;

Aren't those stockings fetching!! The reason, a day stay in hospital yesterday after a minor 'female' tweak. Today I've been told to take it easy and the stockings can come off tonight - hurrah.

Its given me a chance to catch up with Great Expectations that I recorded over Christmas - 2 down, final part to go. I've also been adding another strip to my eventual 100 square blanket - now at 70 squares;

I've also caught up with the end sewing in on my Giant Granny blanket - now 36 rounds big;

I'll keep going with this one for as long as the yarn lasts - the one I'm using has been discontinued - I think I'll be able to get another 10 rounds added before I run out though.

There's someone I've been meaning to introduce you all too - his name is Jack and he arrived here with the VV family just before Christmas;

 Isn't he a total hunk - all furry faced with a fat tummy - a bit like MrVV ;)

He was my win from a giveaway that Jackie @ Sew Special Bears had last year (sorry no link blogger is being a right PINTA today). Thank you again Jackie - he's gorgeous and he's still mine - little son hasn't even attempted to pinch him - I think after all these years I've mastered that 'don't even think about it' look!!

Right time to go back to the sofa - armed this time with a mug of tea and some painkillers!!

xxx Vicki xxx

Monday, 2 January 2012

Belated Happy New Year

Good afternoon

A belated Happy New Year to you all. I meant to post yesterday but (1) ran out of time and (2) hadn't taken any photos!! Plus I got up late, got times wrong and we were in a rush to go from a lunchtime drinks party to a New Years Day family buffet tea!

Anyhow - am here now - better late than never ;). Can't believe its January - we've been out for a family walk today to Southwold and it was so warm and sunny;

I'm getting so much better at this walking lark - stamina is much improved - we just need to work on my speed now - so much of the time, this was my view;

Menfolk strolling off ahead and then stopping and waiting for me to catch them up!

Can I ask you all a question? Did anyone else get the Cath Kidston crochet tin set? I've started to make mine up and I've run out of yarn before I've finished. I've not enough to do the last 3 rounds of the back of the cushion. I could match with yarn I have here but I wondered if its a design fault in general? I was very frugal with the ends and wastage as I've made each square up.

I've also completed my first make of 2012 - I'll share that later in the month when I take part in the Monthly Make posts for 2012 (links in my sidebar).

Don't forget my PIF - again, link in the sidebar.

See you soon.

xxx Vicki xxx