So I needed a break from the revision……..

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Hello all! I thought I’d share a bit of what I’ve been up to over the run-up to Christmas. It’s always a bit of a fraught time for me, this year especially so as a member of my family was really unwell earlier in the year (thankfully doing much better now though). It was nice to spend the day with my family (though not my other half of 10 years, but that’s another story that is far to boring to share with the world), and have some lush home-cooked food (prepared by someone who’s not me!!). My ma put on a fab spread of turkey, gammon, pigs-in-blankets (sausages wrapped in bacon, om nom nom nom), honey roasted parsnips, brussel sprouts (for which I’m still suffering, but it wouldn’t be Christmas without them!), stuffing, carrots and devil on horse back (prunes wrapped in bacon – honestly the food of gods!). There was pudding but I was so stuffed after the main that I passed on pudding, which is just as well because I got so much chocolate I’m not entirely sure I’ll get through it all this year! 

Being a student nurse, I am absolutely broke. So, this year I was a bit more creative with some of my gifts, particularly with the one for my little sister (she’s 23 now, and taller than me, but she will always be my little sister!). We were in a well known department store Christmas shopping when she saw a gingerbread house that I must say was magnificent. I thought ‘ooo maybe I could get her one for Christmas…. How expensive could it be?’ £75 was how expensive it could be so I thought sod that I’ll make one…… so I did!! It was a tad on the wonkey side, but it did hold its own, it stayed in one piece, and it even tasted pretty good. I can kind of appreciate the price tag though – the ingredients didn’t cost all that much, but I spent all of the day before Christmas eve baking, and most of that was taken up with her gingerbread house! I did plan ahead though: I used my normal gingerbread recipe (I’m not a mum and I love netmums, so easy and yet good for you at the same time!!), and a Martha Stewart template (I googled ‘gingerbread house templates’ and this was my favourite) and prepped it about a week before I baked it – basically rolling the dough and cutting it into all the pieces and froze it raw, taking it out of the freezer the day before baking to defrost, then I could bake it from cold (that’s what a lot of the gingerbread house recipes suggest). I even managed to make windows by popping in some broken up boiled sweets in the window holes just before the gingerbread was fully baked. As you can see, I abandoned the chimney (I ate it in the end!) but all in all, I was pretty happy with the outcome, and my sister loved it. 

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My mum asked me a little while ago if I wouldn’t mind making some macarons and florentines for the Christmas tea table, so the rest of my day before Christmas eve was spent making these. Now, my macarons are not the best looking things (I have little patience sometimes, and after having already spent 5 hours in the kitchen making the house and some gingerbread star trees, finishing with the macarons was not the best idea I’ve ever had…), but they were pretty tasty – needless to say I made sure there were a few ‘rejects’…….

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I have to admit I’m not as fond of Christmas as I used to be – the bf isn’t a great fan, and I suppose over the years it has rubbed off on me a bit. But I do love the food and the time I get to spend with my family, and it’s just the kick-start I need to get back into blogging……. What festive treats did you get to enjoy this year?

Lovely post from Sweden!

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Hello! Long time no post I know, I know – my excuse is Uni work, and tons of it. I have been doing some bits and pieces of crafting, but sadly I’ve not had time for much. I did, however, manage to send some crochet squares to Lida from Best of Crochet, for her Christmas charity blanket, and here’s the lovely surprise post I got in return:

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I was more than happy to participate – especially as the squares were just sitting there waiting to be loved, and I wasn’t expecting anything in return, but it’s very much appreciated, so thank you for the lovely present Lida, and good luck with the blanket, I can’t wait to see it finished!!

Meanwhile, Happy Christmas everyone, and I promise I will blog again soon! Happy holidays x

 

I keep my promises — it’s giveaway time!

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*fingers crossed for an early Christmas pressie….. for me!!*

not your average crochet

what the winner will receive

A beautiful yarn bowl handmade by my lovely and very talented friend Lauren:

yarn bowlA full skein of KnitPicks Billow (100% Pima cotton) in the shade Ice Lily:

billow bulky pima cotton in ice lilyA full skein of KnitPicks Brava Worsted (100% acrylic) in the shade Mint:

brava worsted acrylic in mintAnd finally a thread/yarn cutter keychain (I have one and have put it on a necklace chain):

thread cutter keychainI have tried both kinds of yarn previously and enjoy working with them very much, particularly with a yarn bowl made by my friend!

giveaway info

The giveaway is open from right now until November 25, 2013, when I will randomly draw the winner.  It is open to anyone, regardless of where in the world you are located.

giveaway rules

To enter in this giveaway, you must do ALL of the following:

  1. Follow this blog (can be via WordPress, e-mail, or Bloglovin’)
  2. Share this post by reblogging it…

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Denim Whale

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My goodness it’s been a while! Apologies to you lovely people who are following me, and hello to those just stopping by. My excuse is I had an assignment to concentrate on (and believe me it did take all of my determination not to post lots and lots in that time!!), but now that’s done, I’ve had a bit of a craft explosion (not so good – my next module involves an exam in January, and the reading material is mahoosive!). Here is one of my beautiful creations. I’m so happy with him, as he’s my first proper sewing project using my great aunt’s 1980s Janome sewing machine, and he’s not too shabby! I found the idea scrolling through some google images ages ago (I can’t remember what I actually googled, but I saw him, and the bf wanted one!). Although I had make my own pattern, it was surprisingly easy to do, and the blog post has some fantastic pics and a step-by-step guide. The best bit was it only cost me £3.99 for the stuffing (which was a 1kg bag, and I only used a fraction of that), as I had a couple of pairs of old jeans that I used (I may have mucked up a couple of bits…..). He’s not actually finished in this pic, as his underbelly needs closing up, but that requires hand stitching and I can be a bit lazy with that sort of thing! Have any of you seen this and given it a go? I’d love to hear your comments 🙂

I’m still here and I’m still crocheting!!

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Hello wonderful people! So sorry for complete lack of postage in the past few weeks – I had 3 fabulous weeks of annual leave, in which I posted lots but didn’t do much uni work, then I started on placement, in which I have done a little more work, but not much crafting (and it’s Christmas in less that 100 days!!), so I haven’t had much to post (let alone time to post it in) but here I have a shot of my latest WIP – a hat for my mum. She got herself a new coat for winter and said ‘I need a hat, I know Vic can make me one!’ Bless her she seems to think that because I’m crafty I can do it all (I got my great aunt’s sewing machine a few months back, and my mum automatically assumed I’d be able to make her some curtains!!), although luckily for her, I can at least make her a hat.

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Apologies for the picture quality – it is a bit on the dark side!! I found this fantastic site when I googled beanie hats with peak (mum’s specifications). It’s a fab site, all the patterns I’ve browsed (including this one) are free, and the yarn is really reasonably priced – they don’t supply direct from their website, but they do link you to the people that do. I got 3 balls of the yarn specified in the pattern (Drops Eskimo) for £8 including postage, which I didn’t think was too bad. It’s another first for me, as I’m used to crocheting with acrylic, and this is 100% wool, but it’s lovely stuff. Considering I think that the company is based in Norway, they do a brilliant job of translating the pattern in to UK terms, although I do advise a quick read-through before you start (yes, yes, I know you should anyway, but I’m a bit naughty and often skip that bit….). I’m really looking forward to doing another project with one of their patterns again. Once the assignment is finished…….

Crochet Shawl and other bits

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Ola! Still procrastinating, but at least this time my books and journal articles surround me!! 

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I was sort of putting off starting until I got the marks from my first assignment (which I passed!!), but now I don’t really have any excuses!

My CAL is now 3 weeks behind and looks to be staying there for a bit (although I have got most of next week off, which should be spent doing my assignment……), but another visit from the father-in-law and gf is on the cards, and I always crochet like crazy when they’re here.

I have been manically trying to finish my shawl as it’s only another couple of weeks until the wedding I mentioned last week, but my tension isn’t as tight as it normally is, so another ball of yarn may be required before too long. 

Here’s the shawl so far:

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I’ve started on the other half (same as what you see above), and I’m hoping I can have it finished by the end of next week.

I’ve also been working on the wedding present – they’re asking for help setting up and tidying up rather than presents, but I’d still like to give them something small. They’re not planning on children any time soon, but when they do, I’ve made a small blanket:

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I made the squares ages ago because I love the book they came from (200 Crochet Blocks for Blankets, Throws and Afghans), but I didn’t really do anything with them! So hey presto, some of them are now a baby blanket 🙂

As for my other WIPs (mostly Xmas pressies!) I have made no progress, and at this rate they will be presents for next Xmas! 

I suppose I should get back to my assignment…. TTFN

 

Crochet Shawl

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Well, this week has been yet another week of procrastination on the uni work front (although I did manage 2 hours of almost solid journal research this afternoon!), but I have been at work and I have been working on some of my WIPs….. and starting some more. Which brings me to this post. I’m going through the phase where my friends are moving in with bfs/gfs/getting married/having kids, and next month is no exception. 2 of our good friends are getting married on the island (I’m so excited – I can get a bit tipsey, have a dance, and walk 5 mins down the road to bed without having to pay for a taxi or get on a ferry!!) and I’m going to be wearing the dress I wore as bridesmaid for one of my closest friend’s wedding in 2010, but it only has thin spaghetti straps and I don’t want to freeze/fork out a ton of money for a matching shawl/cardi, so I thought I’d make one. The yarn was a tad expensive, but as I usually work with cheapy acrylic, I don’t think the yarn is expensive for what it is (Debbie Bliss mohair/silk blend), especially when I found the cheapest seller I could on ebay (from artofyarn) – the idea was to keep it as cheap as possible, and I think just shy of £15 isn’t bad (I got 2 balls just in case – I shouldn’t need 3, but I’m naff with gauge!). I just googled crochet shawl patterns and this is what I got. I’m not one for following pattern recommendations so I’ve got no idea how it will turn out but this is it so far:

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It’s just a snap shot, and it’s got bigger since I took that pic this morning, but it’s looking pretty good so far. This does mean that my CAL has taken a bit of a back seat (like 2 and a half weeks….), and the Xmas pressies are also ever so slightly on hold, but I feel this is a good way to procrastinate!!

Ta very much for stopping by 🙂

Procrastination Friday!

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Ok, so every day seems to be a procrastination day for me at the mo.

Father-in-law and gf left yesterday early am (hurrah!), so I had a nice easy morning pottering about doing some housework, then the bf took a half day so we could actually spend some time together, then we we joined by some of our lovely friends! So any chance of uni work getting done yesterday was pretty non-existent. So I thought I might take a look at holistic nursing today. But no. My sister is on A/L, so I spent much of the day with her instead! And as I’m designated driver for a trip to London for my friend’s hen do tomorrow, I thought I should take it easy this evening as well 😀 

I have spent some of today crafting, (not just watching My Hero on Netflix…..), and here’s the result:

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It’s from the latest issue of Mollie Makes – I’ve decided that since I’m a poor student (that can afford her Mollie Makes subscription…), all my friends are getting the Mollie Makes freebies as pressies for Christmas!! I’ve already allocated the fish keyring that came last issue (one of my friends actually claimed it!), but as I haven’t made it yet, I have no pics to post, but it is next on my WIP list. I’m really happy with how the piece came out – I even covered the smaller hoop (not all the way round, but just across the back) just to neaten it up a bit. I think this one will go to my aunty as part of her xmas pressie. 

Toodles for now, hopefully progress on my CAL will follow early next week! 

What Vicki Did (finally!)

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Ok, so I did say last week that I was hoping to post more of what Vicki did over the weekend. Well, last weekend came and went at alarming speed! Finally managed now to sit down and post a couple of bits. The father-in-law (almost, still waiting for that ring!) and his gf descended on Monday (I will not go into detail – we rub along well enough I suppose), so this week has been a bit frantic. I had uni Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, and I spent much of Thursday and Friday trying to get my head around my lecture notes. But my crafting has not suffered too much – because of the fact that the lovely Hannah Davis is drip-feeding the pattern to the fabulous blanket, I am able to keep up and not feel too guilty that I’m taking time out from my studies. This means I am still crocheting. However, I do have a few other Christmas WIPs to finish/start – I’m sort of taking this weekend off from uni work so some of it will get done. But as I am naught but a poor student, I do have to do some paid work to keep me ticking along (and away from the ‘in-laws’ so to speak!). I can’t post all of my progress so far for my sister’s pressie as occasionally I know she pops by to read my little blog, but I can post what I’m making for my mum (who is a complete technophobe and thinks a blog is some sort of weird Borg cross-breed!) when I start it (it’s the frog prince from Storyland Cross Stitch). I’m also hoping to make some of the buttons featured in the book. It really is fantastic, and it comes with enough even weave and thread to make a small project, which is fab! I’ve never used even weave before, but it looks like it will give a much more professional finish so I think it might be the way forward for me and cross stitch in the future. 

So, here’s my CAL so far (haven’t quite caught up, I’ve got a bit of week 9 to finish the onto week 10):

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and here’s the sneak preview of my sister’s pressie (sorry about the quality!):

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