Tuesday, 29 December 2015

Cowls for Christmas

Hello! How was your Christmas? I hope it was beautiful and
peaceful, and full of joy, warmth and good cheer. Sorry I haven't been around these past few days. I took a break from blogging and all
social media over the holidays and it was nice. But it's also good
to be back again and today I've got the rest of the presents I've made
to share with you.

As you can see, they're all cowls. I actually made four in total
this Christmas. I wasn't really planning to but they turned out to be
 my favourite gifts to make this year. I've enjoyed crocheting each and
 every one and I'm happy to report that they've all been well received.

 The first one I made was for my mother-in-law. I showed it here back
 in November. This dark grey one was for a new friend I'd met through Instagram. It's a Christmas present and also to say thanks for
the lovely felt garland she'd made for us.

I used Drops Andes, a super chunky wool and alpaca mix, with
a size 9 hook and this pattern by Sarah Hatton. I don't often crochet 
with chunky yarn but I enjoy it when I do. Projects work up quickly
and take less time to finish, and with a lovely, soft yarn like this, 
it was even more enjoyable.

The girls also asked for cowls after seeing the one I'd made
for my mother-in-law. I was going to make them pom-pom slippers 
but decided to give in to their requests.

Markie's cowl is made with rows of trebles in various colours.
She was quite specific about it being colourful and I think we've
got colours here.

I used the same yarn for Lulu's but with little granny squares.
This took me longer to finish as I got distracted making other things
but I did manage to get it ready by Christmas Eve.

The yarn were all Drops Merino Extra Fine, one of my favourites.
Both girls like their cowls although they haven't actually worn them
outside yet. It's been quite mild lately and warm, cosy woollen accessories have not been needed that much. But better this than
ice and snow if you ask me. I'm a warm weather girl at heart and
 I'm always happier when it's not so cold.

So that's my Christmas present making done for this year. I wonder
what I'll be making for Christmas in 2016....

Enjoy the rest of the Holidays and happy New Year in advance!
See you soon!

Wednesday, 23 December 2015


 We're now well into the Christmas school holidays and so far,
 so very good. After the rush and busyness of the last few weeks,
 we've slowed down and it's so nice to have this time to rest, reflect,
take a breath and finish up the last of our festive preparations.
I think we're almost there, just the girls' presents to wrap and a few
cards to write. We'll be at my parents-in-law's on the twenty fifth
 but we're also having our own little celebration on Christmas Eve,
our Noche Buena. We'll have Filipino food as we do every year -
spring rolls, dumpling soup, leche flan. It's going to be great.

I'm nearly done with Lulu's scarf but aside from the presents
I've been making Christmassy bits and pieces too. I made these
clay ornaments with the girls a few weeks ago.

We used air-dry clay that was leftover from Markie's school
project, biscuit cutters and alphabet stamps. They were very easy
and quick to make and looks lovely on our tree. I think we'll make
some more to use as gift tags next year.

And this is a tree brooch I made for Lulu's cardi.

It was Christmas jumper day at school last Friday but as she
didn't have any to wear, I resorted to a bit of crochet. I think it made
her cardi look very Christmassy, thanks to 201 Crochet
motifs, blocks, projects& ideas by Melody Griffiths for the pattern.
I really like that book!

I also made a mandala for our table. It needed some festive colours
so again, I got out my yarn and crochet hook.

This one's from issue 14 of Simply Crochet magazine and was
another quick make.

For teacher gifts, Lulu and I made these chocolate oat treats.

These are a firm favourite in our house and they're easy to make as
well. I love the decorations and sprinkles we used especially the
 stars and red and green ones. Hopefully the teachers liked them too.

Yesterday we made gingerbread biscuits and spent the whole
afternoon decorating them.

We've never made these biscuits before and neither have we used
our biscuit cutters for baking before this so I was quite relieved and
very pleased when they turned out really well. I prepared and put the
icing on the cooled biscuits while the girls did the rest of the
decorating. They loved it and they did a great job. We brought some
with us to the cinema this morning. It was a lovely snack, just perfect.

This last one is not my handiwork but I'd like to show you because
we think it's wonderful and it's top of our tree this year.

Lulu made it at nursery. Isn't it sweet? I can see this featuring
in our decorations for many more Christmases to come.

Tomorrow I'll be busy wrapping but it's wrapping of a different kind:
I'll be making spring rolls and dumplings. You can say it's wrapping
but of the yummy sort!

I'll be back here before the New Year. Have the loveliest
Christmas everyone!!

Friday, 18 December 2015

Baby Bunting

Thank you for your comments about our robin Christmas cards.
 I'm really glad you like them too. I've finished two more presents this
past week, one for a lovely lady I've met through Instagram and the
other is this bunting for a friend's baby girl. 

I haven't done much sewing lately, I think I like working with yarn
more at this time of year, but I did enjoy making this, especially
 hand sewing the appliques. Our friend requested for the colours - purples and greys with a little bit of pink. I don't use purple much
in my projects but I think they all go well together here. I'm
 particularly pleased with the pink binding. I think it just lifts it a bit,
 making it a little less too purple.

We went to see both new mum and baby last weekend and
they're both doing well. And I'm pleased to say that the whole
family likes the bunting. It's going on the wall next to her crib
and I like to think that she will be looking at it when she's a little
bit older. And when she does I hope she'll like it too.

I just have one more Christmas present to finish and that's it.
School is breaking up for the holidays today and I'm really looking forward to a couple of weeks of just staying at home with the girls.
We'll be making more Christmas cards this weekend and it's the
Strictly Finals tomorrow. I cannot wait!!

Thanks again for your lovely comments.
Enjoy your weekend!

Saturday, 12 December 2015

Red Robin Christmas Cards

We've been making Christmas cards this week. Last year we had
 reindeers, this time we have little red robins!

We really enjoyed our card making last Christmas and I wanted
a design that was as easy and simple but equally as effective as the
reindeers, something that we can all do together. I thought robins
might work. They're very Christmassy, appearing in cards, postage
 stamps and all manner of festive decorations every year and they're
cute too. So I came up this little idea to make them:

We started off with brown paint (we used children's washable paint)
and using their fingers, the girls made three or four brown circles
on the cards. Lulu needed a bit of help with this but Markie did hers
 all by herself.

When they have dried, Markie and I coloured in the bottom half
of the circles with red felt tip pens to make the robins' red breast markings.

Then it was adding the little details - eyes, wings, legs. 

Ta dah! Four little robins! 

I then used alphabet stamps to write the Christmas greetings
and it was done! Simple, quick and lots of fun.

We're really pleased with these and we're looking forward
to giving them to friends, family and the girls' teachers. As always
I'm glad that we can do things like this together, that they're happy
to help and join in, and I have the time to craft and be with them.
It makes this time of year even more special and really great fun.

We'll have more Christmassy things to share soon.
Thanks for stopping here. Enjoy your weekend!

Thursday, 10 December 2015

Winter Projects

I've scarcely made any progress with my crochet blanket since
 my last link up post. I have, however, been busy with lots of other
things. I have been making Christmas cards and decorations with
my girls and I've also made some presents. So far I've finished
crocheted cowl and pot holder for my mother-in-law and I've
just made Markie's request- 'a scarf like Nanny's but with lots
and lots of colours.'

Lulu wants the same thing as well but I'm making hers with
these little granny squares. It's coming along nicely and I'm
enjoying using all these colours. I think it will be finished soon.

And this is a bunting for a friend's baby girl. It's all purples and
greys with bits of pink - very sweet and very girly. I've sewn all the
appliques by hand and my main job today is sewing all the pieces
together. Fingers crossed it will ready before we see both new mum
 and baby this weekend!

So not much to report about my blanket but hopefully progress
will resume once all the festive crafting, making, and preparations
 are over!

Joining in with Jennifer's Winter Project Link Party.

Have a lovely weekend!!

Thursday, 3 December 2015

Advent Calendar

Hello. I hope you've had a lovely start to the Advent season. There
are still three weeks to go before Christmas but I'm starting to feel
excited. I've finished making Markie's cowl and this week I've added
a few more ticks in my list of presents to buy. Our mantel is looking
a little more festive too with some red and sparkly things and every
 morning over breakfast we light our Advent candle. And of course,
there's the Advent calendar with a surprise treat for the girls everyday. 

As you can see I've made our own Advent calendar this year. This
was a very last-minute make, hurriedly assembled on the afternoon
of December first.

I've forgotten to buy the girls their usual chocolate-filled calendars
and after failing to find on Tuesday morning anything that wasn't
 either a Peppa Pig or Olaf, I decided to just make my own. I got
a packet of small brown envelopes and number stencils from
Ryman's and I found these festive wooden pegs from Poundland
 - twelve for a pound. Perfect!

I stencilled the numbers on the envelopes, hung them from a string
 using the pegs and it was done! It's very simple but it works and
the girls love it.

So our countdown to Christmas is underway with the help of
our DIY Advent calendar and there are lots of things we're looking
forward to. Top of the list is the girls' Christmas show at school
next week. I'm very, very excited about that. We're also getting
our tree, maybe on the twelfth and I'd like to try making gingerbread biscuits with my girls. This is a very special time of year and
I'm beginning to really enjoy myself now.

Tuesday, 24 November 2015

A Crocheted Cowl

I've ticked another item off my Christmas making list this week.
 I've finished crocheting this cowl which I've made especially for my mother-in-law. I hope she likes it. It's been an easy and fun make and
the yarn, Drops Cotton Merino, is always a pleasure to crochet with.

 The pattern is based on the Stars Cowl from issue 57 of Inside 
Crochet magazine. I started off with the first two rows from the pattern. The third row has 'deep double treble crochet' stitches or ddtr in a different yarn colour to create the stars effect but I decided to just keep
 going with the first two rows. The cowl turned out much simpler and
not at all like the original but I prefer it like this. I like the fan-like
 pattern and the texture that had been created by the stitches and
 I'm pleased with it. The muted shade (it's beige) will go with various colours and outfits so hopefully she'll be able to wear this often.
 It measures about 98cm in circumference, not wide or long enough
 to wind round the neck twice but I know she likes to wear cowls
 draped down like in the photos here and I think it's just the right
 length for her - hopefully!

I'm currently making a very colourful cowl for Markie and I'm going
to start on the bunting soon.

 How's your Christmas making going?

 Take care and have a great week!

Saturday, 21 November 2015


Monday afternoon, around one o'clock, the sun came out from
behind dark grey clouds and for the first time in days there was
bright sunshine. Even though it was still wet outside it didn't look
or feel as dreary and it felt the same inside the house. The light
created shadows but also lit up spaces and corners I'd normally
not notice. I went into every room in the house just to see which
spot or corner was bright with sunlight. I've been lighting candles
and putting lamps on but nothing beats natural light at banishing greyness and gloom. It's brilliant and wonderful and I wish we have
more of it especially at this time of year. I miss it a lot - having grown
 up in a tropical country, warm, sunny weather is where I really feel
 most at home - and appreciate it so much particularly after what
feels like weeks of rain and grey skies.

 Today it's sunny but cold. We woke up with a light dusting of snow
 on the ground which got the girls very excited. I'm glad for the
sunshine. I don't mind the chill so much when the sky is blue and
 there is lots of sunshine. It's not quite the warming, comforting sort
 that I prefer but as long as it's bright and clear and the world doesn't look or feel miserable, I'll take it.

Hope you have sunshine where you are this weekend. Enjoy!

Monday, 16 November 2015

Granny Flower Square Pot Holder

I have finished one of the gifts I'm making for Christmas. It's a
 crocheted pot holder and it's for my mother-in-law. She really liked 
the pot holder I made for our kitchen last spring and I thought it will be nice to make one for her too and give it as a present this Christmas. 

I started making this while waiting for a doctor's appointment. I had
a feeling that the clinic will be running late and brought along
 my crochet hook, some yarn and my copy of Melody Griffiths' 201 Crochet motifs, blocks, projects & ideas. I really like the granny flower square in the book and wanted to see if it will make a nice pot holder.
Sure enough I had to wait some time before I was seen and by then
 I had finished the flower and was working on the first round of yellow trebles. I love a portable craft project and I'm so glad I had this to
keep me busy in the waiting room!

Back at home I carried on with the outer yellow rounds until I had
an 8 inch square. For the back I made the treble square, also from
the same book, then joined the front and back pieces with double
crochets and slip stitches.

 I also made a loop, sewed the yarn ends and it was done! An easy, 
quick but very satisfying project. I used a 4mm hook and Drops Muskat
yarn, a lovely mercerised cotton, that were leftover from other projects.
 I have to say I'm really liking 201 Crochet motifs, blocks, projects & ideas. It's a great resource for crochet projects; the shapes for my bear
 and (soon-to be finished) fox bags were from here. 

I really hope my mother-in-law likes this. She appreciates handmade
 presents and I always like making things for her so fingers crossed
this pot holder will be well received on Christmas Day.

Thank you for your lovely comments about my blanket and
 my other projects. Hope your Christmas making are going well.
 Have a good week, everyone!


We're going to have our second pop up restaurant next Saturday,
November 28th. We have a new menu, including mushroom
arancinis for starters - Yum! We now have a blog too. Hope you
can visit when you get the chance. Thanks!

Thursday, 12 November 2015

Winter Project Update

Joining in again with Jennifer's Winter Project Link Party.

My crochet blanket here which I started making sometime in September
has grown over the past month. I think it's now twice as long since my
last link up post. I'm quite surprised actually but also very pleased about this. It's still very much in the making process but at least it's growing
despite the other projects that have lately been occupying most of my
crafting time.

A few weeks ago I couldn't resist making this crochet bear bag
which was a hit with my girls and of course I had to make another one.
 I've chosen a fox this time and I've made all the bag pieces now. They're just waiting to be sewn together and the handle made and it's done.

I've also started making gifts for Christmas. This one's
for my mother-in-law. I'll show you the finished item soon.

Also for my mother-in-law, a crocheted cowl. Well, hopefully. I'm still
not sure about the pattern so I'll see how how this goes. I also have
 a bunting to make for a friend's baby and maybe crocheted slippers
 for my girls

With all these it does look like I won't be able to make as much progress with my blanket in the coming weeks with me even busier with present making. But I'll try and pick it up whenever I can. I have a feeling it will
be my little refuge when all the festive making, decorating and other goings on get a bit too much. A cup of tea, quiet time in a corner with
 my blanket......now that's a happy thought!

Hope it's been a good week for you all. Enjoy the weekend!

Thursday, 5 November 2015

Late Half-term Report

So here we are in November and it's Bonfire Night. I hope you're 
having a great time if you're doing anything Bonfire Night related 
this evening. The girls and I watched fireworks from their bedroom
window earlier. It was pretty exciting but we're definitely happy to
just spectate. It's been raining all day and it's also quite cold and
foggy. Certainly glad to be warm, dry and cosy indoors tonight.

Half term is done and dusted now and we're back to our usual
 school day routines. The school break, all eleven days of it, had
 been really good. We all feel rested and better for it.

 We mostly stayed at home and pottered about doing this and that.
The girls did a lot of drawing, colouring, cutting and gluing and I did
 a lot of tidying up everyday. There was also a fair bit of arguing and
 'she did this, she did that' but on the whole they played well together which was nice.

I worked on my blanket throughout the week and crocheted a little
flower for Lulu's new cardigan. We also made a fox head mount
 (from a kit), baked and went out for walks when it wasn't raining.

Crochet in the autumn sunshine- yay!

On a lovely, sunny morning when my husband was off work, we 
all went to the botanical gardens and had a brilliant time just
walking around and seeing all the colours on the trees and finding
flowers that are still in bloom. And of course we had to see Mr. Bear. 
A visit here is never complete without going to the old bear pit and
saying hello to the resident bear. I love the plants and trees but for
the girls the bear is always their favourite thing in the gardens.

The highlight of the whole half term - for them and for us - was their
sleepover at Nanny and Granddad's. They got to stay up much later
and watch all of Strictly while us two had a lovely night in as well,
also with Strictly and some lovely grown up food (wine and steak)
plus Spectre at the cinema the next day. We didn't mind not doing
anything for Halloween. It might be less scary for the girls next year.
Maybe they might be lured by the prospect of getting lots of sweets
with trick or treating. Maybe. It's really not their thing at the moment.

I think the fireworks are still going, Bonfire Night is still on!
Hope you've had a good one.

Enjoy your weekend!