Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Ruffles and frills

As promised I'm back to share my amazing knitting.  No, I am not a very good knitter, slow and awkward would describe my style.  But before Christmas I discovered a wonderful yarn called Can Can Glitz.  When it's wound in the wool it just looks like normal chunky yarn but when pulled out it is actually a meshed tape.  You cast on by pushing your needles through the holes in the mesh then knit in the usual way except your stitches are actually the holes in the tape.  I may not be describing this too well but I'm sure there must be a You Tube video somewhere.

Doesn't it look great.  I have made three scarves now, two in the lilac as shown above and one in hot pink.  Unfortunately they have all been presents but I am pleased to say that all the recipients were delighted to receive them.

I did cause a bit of a stir in the staff room when I took it in to do at lunchtime (I had a deadline of two days before my mums birthday).  Everyone thought I was dead clever....little did they know that it was just my poor knitting skills that made it look difficult.  In fact a scarf only took two evenings to make and one ball of yarn.

  Here in my little part of Hertfordshire we seem to have a distinct lack of haberdashery and crafty shops so the only stockist I know for sure that has it is Hobbycraft.  I really must make one for myself sometime....  

Saturday, 28 January 2012

Week 4, photo 365+1

A few tricky prompts this week:

1. Glowing... Late afternoon sun amongst stormy clouds.
2. Hot....Cleaned the kettle especially for this shot.
3. Motion...My garden in a glance.
4. Motionless...Tulips (secretly growing) shh!
5. Free prompt, Clearing leaves...a job always nicer in bright wellies.
6. Amazing...Amazing nature, frost on the car.
7. Fluffy...Totoro, my favourite anime character.

All photos taken using my itouch, edited using Instagram and Be Funky photo apps.

Thursday, 26 January 2012

Things haven't been going too good down here of late, 'It never rains but it pours' the saying goes.  Even my eternal optimism has had a dent or two recently.  But today I am going to be positive.  I'm thinking....

  • One more day until the weekend
  • No news is good news
  • 2 weeks until the half term
  • Bargain tulips @ 95p
  • The leak will be fixed on Tuesday
  • I have lost 2.8 lbs

Wowsers! My pick me up bargain:)
I have been practising my crochet this week.  Lets just say it will be a while until I have something decent to show you.  But I do have this:

This is the card I made for my mums 70th birthday last week.  Both stamps are from Lilli of the Valley.

Sanded and glittered numerals as I didn't have any to match.

I will be back very soon with my latest knitting handiwork...or as I like to call it, fooling people to believe you are good at it.  So until then, stay positive:)

Monday, 23 January 2012

Hearts and Flowers

Anyone a member of the Instagram site?  I have become quite addicted to it and regularly drop in daily to view wonderful photos from photographers from around the world.

I prefer to follow the iphone user photographers as this is the camera I am using to take photographs for the Scrap 365+1 photo challenge.  It makes for quick and easy uploading to blogs, flicker, facebook and of course the Instagram site itself.

I use my UKS name Gingerscraps if you fancy having a browse sometime.

I'm really enjoying the challenge of the daily prompts, I think it releases the frustrated photographer in me.  The iphone camera and various apps to help edit them really help to make the mundane look spectacular.  Not for me f stops and instruction manual reading....I like to just pick up my camera and snap.

So apart from taking photos, last week I was furiously making birthday gifts.  It was my Mum's 70th birthday and one of my presents to her was a scrapbooking canvas.

Doilies, paper roses and Kasercraft Bonjour range.
Blank canvases can be found fairly cheaply now and I find make a layout extra special.

The title of this old sheet music found in a charity shop seemed apt.

I used a photo of my Mum as a young girl.

I chose a photo of my Mum as a young girl as she doesn't like her photo taken and so I thought she would appreciate a photo that didn't remind her of her age.  I borrowed it last year amongst a pile of other family photos so it was a complete surprise to her that I had copied it. 

I had better go and check on my Carrot and Coriander soup as the diet starts in earnest this week....I have an app for that too:)

Saturday, 21 January 2012

Week 3, Photo 365+1

Here's my weekly photo roundup.

1. Generous.....Creme eggs certainly aren't any more. They get smaller every year.
2. Snack.....Trying to loose a few pounds so my afternoon snack is quark on crumpets with a little apricot jam.
3. Naughty.....Cream cakes. Naughty but nice and yes I resisted.
4. Pleasure......bursts of colour always give me pleasure. Today was my bright pink coat.
5. Bad for me.....Reading instructions I do not like. Give me a diagram any day.
6. Sign....Big boy boots left abandoned in the hall. A sign that the teen is home.
7. Fire....A lovely birthday celebration for my mums 70th today.

I lurked in the co-op for photos this week. Felt pretty stupid taking photos of creme eggs and cakes but it's all in the name of photography:)

Back soon with lots of crafty birthday makes.

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

When it's grim...

Ooh, January is a grim out month isn't it?  If it's not the gloomy old weather, then the post Christmas gloom and general bad life stuff will certainly get you down.

So in the mean time I'm thinking:

  •  Pretty papers
  • Baking
  • Bright colours
  • Cosy toes
  • Hot chocolate
A wedding anniversary card for my parents.

When I peeped my nose out the door this morning I reached for the big guns of gloom busting....the bright pink winter coat.

I forgot just how bright this coat is until I was walking down the street:o

Right, ticked all the above except the Hot Chocolate.....wheres the marshmallows?

Monday, 16 January 2012

Gingerbread House

I sort of got into a crafting funk after my Christmas Mini Book flurry. As this is predominately a crafting blog I have had nothing much to show you.  But this week sees a couple of family events that I really had to start preparing for.  Today is my Mum and Dads wedding anniversary and on Saturday is my Mums 70th Birthday.  So I need to get cracking as all my gifts are hand crafted....cripes!

Although I have managed to finish this simple layout....and its all about my Gingerbread House.

Oh what fun we had putting this together....well it might of been easier if i had followed the instructions.  But you know i don't like doing that:) 

Before it collapsed...

My trusty kitchen hand(hubby)kindly read the instructions to me.  'Once the sides are stuck together, wait 15 minutes before attaching the roof'.  My exact words were 'Sod that!'.  So I merrily assembled the house, rather cleverly finishing in record time....only to find the roof slipping off 10 minutes later.  Even the Gingerbread men drunkenly fell over.

Drunken and disorderly Gingerbread men in charge of the house...no wonder it fell down.

So after taking it apart and then trying again (this time waiting 10 minutes before the roof was attached)the icing wasn't quite as nice as it had started out.  Lucky for you I took some photos before it collapsed.

Roof off!

Saturday, 14 January 2012

Week 2, Photo 365+1

Not much crafting here this week I'm afraid but I am hoping to remedy that this weekend:)

I have managed to keep up with the Photo 365+1 though even if I sometimes have to wait until the next day for inspiration to strike.

This weeks prompts are:
1. Cosy.....my favourite winter hat.
2. Water....washing up is always nicer in a hot pink washing up bowl.
3. Metallic....even metal scourers can look pretty.
4. An item of clothing....I'm loving my pink checked shirt and grey jumper combo.
5. Transparent....a steamy classroom window from 30 little hot breaths.
6. Inside my fridge....I'm trying to be good with lots of veggies.
7. Guilty pleasures.....apart from eating cakes, I just love to make them.

A bit of a pink theme going on. Well must dash, got an appointment with my craft room.

Sunday, 8 January 2012

Week1, Photo 365

Hello there.  Well it's back to the grind this week and back to work.  My goodness it has seemed like a long and hard week and I didn't start back until last Tuesday.  

This week I started the year long project of taking a photo a day.  Known as photo 375, a prompt is given to help you along.  

1. Celebrate....Celebrating the New Year by putting the decorations away.
2. New.....A bank holiday winters walk with a reward of a new beer to try.  Adnams Jolly.
3. Ugly.....The ugly mold problem in our house.
4. Pretty......Sweet wrappers, all shiny and tempting. All the caramels eaten.
5.  Excitement......A deathly dull day at school so my only excitement was a piece of cake.
6. Frost.....Cold days require warm boots.
7. Drink....my new favourite tipple.

Right, that's my week, what did you do? I'm out to get wallpaper now.....much to hubby's disgust:)

Sent from my iPod

Tuesday, 3 January 2012


Can you guess what my New Year resolutions are? Not hard is it? But with my blogging post about optimism and confidence ringing in my ears (btw thanks for your confidence boosting comments for that) I thought to myself 'You can loose that stone and you will fit in your jeans without a muffin top....and get fitter to boot'.
  So after a healthy lunch of homemade Tuscan Bean Soup I walked  into the town centre today (even in the awful weather Britain has been having). I got a copy of Zest and popped in Julian Graves (health food shop) to stock up on healthy nibbles. Yes I know apricots have sugar in but they are better than the cakes and chocolate I have been eating of late. Also they are unsulphured apricots, so no allergy problems for me. Oh, and I got the latest Just Dance wii game....I like a good boogie (the teen and the hubby just like to watch in awe at my antics). I hear music, I like to dance.  Next week I am going to a new Zumba Class which I am looking forward to.
On the crafting front, the '365 photo challenge' has started and I also intend to keep up with ' Sians Storytelling Sunday'. I am also going to join in Julie Kirks 'My Month in Numbers' this year too. So lots of good intentions, just hope I keep it all going.

Sunday, 1 January 2012

The story of ......

Well hello there, Happy New Year.

I was thinking last night what unremarkable year it has been.  Except for one member of our family....the teen.

Not only did he have a full list of final exams but we had the drama of the results and then the frantic search for plan B.

It turned out better than our expectations in the end.  The teen now goes to college and enjoys every moment of it, he has a great group of students on his course and his confidence has soared. He even has red streaks in his hair....the blue didn't work out.

Going for the mean and moody profile...
So this has set me thinking, how do we gain confidence?  I have crisis of confidence all the time but on occasions the Scorpio determination breaks out and I would defy anyone that said I couldn't do it.  I know, what a crazy mixed up lady I am.  Now optimisation is something I have pocket fulls of....oh yes, optimistic is my middle name....always look on the bright side, it will turn out all OK. Even though my little confidence devil sits on my shoulder and tells me....'Yeah, but what if...'
So no more what ifs..., but only...and ooh, I'm not sures.  This year I am going to be OPTIMISTIC that I can, I will and I'm sure the CONFIDENCE will follow.

Christmas day...my little family.
Is this a story for Sian's Storytelling Sunday?  Yes of course (see the possitive there) it's the story of my start to 2012.