Thursday, 20 June 2013

The Living Room Snuggle Blanket

After decorating the Living Room I wanted to crochet something that co-ordinated with the room but didn't really know what.  I had seen Lucy's granny stripe blanket pattern  a while back & wanted to give it a go & then I came across this on Pinterest that sealed the deal for me!


I thought that this would be a perfect way to use all of the colours that were in the room without it being too overbearing.  So off I went!  I ordered some Stylecraft Special DK & excitedly embarked on a new crochet project.  I won't lie, I went into this one with my rose-tinted glasses on somewhat.  I looked at Lucy's pattern, read that her starting chain was 240 and thought 240? pah! I'm going to start with 300 chains!  So off I went, row after row after row.  300 chains led to a rather long blanket but that's ok, I kept telling myself, I want this to be big enough to have a proper snuggle under in the winter.  

I will hold my hands up & say that I was being seriously over-ambitious with this one.  I could have let this project go on & on, increasing the size gradually over time, but I got bored.  I got to a stage where I thought that's it! I've had enough!  It can wrap around someone's shoulders nicely so it will do!  Despite this one being stopped much sooner than I originally planned, I'm still really chuffed with it.  The colours work really well together & it has been used quite a bit by Hubby - if he says it's big enough then I can live with that!!!

Here's my "finished" blanket:

Annoyingly there was a gust of wind as this photo was taken so the blanket was being blown backwards!

A closer picture so you can see the colours:

and an even closer one!

It's not as chunky as the original blanket in the photo above but it still works well. I used black as the main colour, equal amounts of green & cyan & then a few stripes of charcoal grey, pink & white.  It goes nicely with the decor in our Living Room anyway!!!


Wednesday, 19 June 2013

The Art of Crochet - the Finished Blanket!

In January 2010 I subscribed to the Art of Crochet magazine and at the end of last year (I can't remember exactly when but I think it was about October/November time) I finished the blanket that I had been making, square by square, as part of the series.

I know that over the years it has cost me a lot of money but I have really enjoyed every minute & have got a pretty impressive library of patterns to start working my way through!!!  It was the blanket that actually made  me want to get this series - I don't really know whether it was the colours or the pattern but I just HAD to have it!!!

Here is the finished product:

I am so proud of it!  I love the fact that it gets used everyday by the girls, whether it's to snuggle up in on the sofa or as the roof of an indoor tent - it's holding up pretty well!

Here is a close up of the middle of the blanket:

I have a few favourites when it comes to the individual squares.  I really like the multi-coloured stripy ones that surround the middle squares (above).  I also really like the purple spotted ones:

I wasn't as fussed on the ones with the funny men on them - embroidery was certainly not the strong point for me on this project!  I also liked the various granny squares that are dotted around

and finally I think that the cream ones with the colourful holes in are also quite cool!

Colourful loveliness!


Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Dining Room Reveal

This one has been a long time coming but I am happy to say that our Dining Room is finally finished!!!  We have got to get some curtains & cover the chair seats but these things are not urgent so will get done as & when.  It is so nice to use a table at mealtimes again & Hubby has done a really good job.

As a reminder, here's what the room looked like before:

Here's what it looks like now:

I am forever amazed at the difference just having the woodwork painted white makes!!  I love the fireplace that we got via Freecycle, especially now it's painted.  In addition to the free fire surround that we got, we also managed to get a couple of other bargains for this room.  Our wallpaper was found in the Next outlet shop for only £3 per roll - we bought the last 3 that were there - so our feature wall only cost £9.  We also found a lovely canvas in the B&Q clearance back in February that was reduced from £24.98 to £10.  I love this picture

We have it above the sideboard on the left hand wall as you walk into the room.  The purple glass vase that is sat on the sideboard was also from the Next outlet for £8 (originally £35).

My favourite colour (purple) is on the bottom half of the walls.  The wallpaper has pink & purple in it & we didn't want to leave the rest of the room plain.  Having this darker colour also helps to hide any dirty marks that my lovely girls my make as they play!!!

I think this room is a success.  Hubby has been busy elsewhere in the house - he's stripped our little side room off the kitchen of its wood paneling & is currently using this room as a home gym (I have got photos to share) & he's also stripped the wallpaper in the play room as this is our next decorating project.  We have yet to decide what colour to put in the play room though (if any).  Watch this space!


Monday, 17 June 2013

Garden Update

I am back today with an update on our (mostly) finished garden!  The final thing that we were waiting to be done was for the rotten fence to be replaced.  Without further ado......ta dah!!!



I have got the beginnings of a flower bed running along the fence & have planted out some sweet peas that I had been growing in the greenhouse:

 I have also planted some sweet peas in a few pots & have made a make-shift climbing frame for them using mesh wiring:

 The metal bicycle has been planted up & is looking lovely

 We also have LOADS of beautiful flowers coming out in our flower beds, we're really lucky.  These blue ones are starting to die off now but they're stunning - I'm not sure what they are, Mother-in-Law thinks they might be cornflowers but we're not sure.

 We also have 3 peonies, which I am very excited about

Please ignore the stinging nettles in this photo!!!

And more waiting to bloom

We are really enjoying spending time outside when we can & it's lovely to see all of the new flowers coming out.  I remember how I used to moan at my Mum & Dad when I was in my teens for being "so sad" (in the tone of Kevin the teenager) for wasting so much money & time in their garden.  Mum used to tell me that one day I'd have my own garden that I'd enjoy, to which I told her that there was no way I was going to spend money on plants & that I was going to concrete my garden!  Hmmmmm.  Mothers obviously do know best!  


Friday, 14 June 2013

Village Gala

I am a bit behind on my posts & have lots to catch up on!  I hope that you are well?

A couple of weekends back our village had a gala, which was lovely.  On the Sunday morning the view from Freya's bedroom was getting the girls excited as everything was being set up:

This isn't the greatest picture but the colourful bouncy castles were in the line of sight, leading to very hyper children!!!

When we walked around to the field where the gala was being held there were a few things that were of interest - for Freya & Abby these were the bouncy castles, the ice-cream van & the swinging merry-go-round; for us it was the Hog Roast & the birds of prey on display that caught our eye.

There was a brass band set up in the middle of the field to provide some entertainment:

 Despite arriving only a couple of hours after the gala started (it was on 11am-4pm) the Hog Roast stand had run out (?!?!?!) so we weren't able to treat ourselves to that!  Birds of Prey it was then!

Look at these fabulous birds:

 There were about 15-20 different types of bird, thankfully all tied to their perches or I would have been running for my life (I am MAJORLY scared of birds!).  From a distance though they were fascinating.

This owl was HUGE & he spent most of the time on this handler's arm - he must have the strength of an ox to be able to hold it up for so long!

Hubby & I also found it amusing that the handler had a remarkable likeness (both in looks & the way he spoke) to Bill Oddy.

There was a Kookaburra, which we'd never seen before:

A couple of the birds were getting a bit fidgety & needed to stretch their wings:

This stunning creature was my favourite though:

Beautiful, no?  It reminded me of the film Labyrinth!

Of course we weren't able to spend too much time looking at the birds as we had 2 very eager girls tugging at our arms & begging to go on the bouncy castles/archery/swing/get an ice-cream.  We had a lovely time, although we were a little bit disappointed that there wasn't a bit more to do - I suppose we had been to the Donkey Derby the weekend before so compared to that this was very tiny!!  Overall though we had 2 happy little girls, & that's the main thing!!!