Thursday, July 31, 2014

A Hugo Project.

 So I will say unabashedly that sometimes (no in fact, make that quite often) my greatest inspiration comes from my kids. Hugo started crafting with corks this afternoon and came up with this plan
 I am sooooooo impressed. Isn't this the most wonderful thing that you could ever do with a cork. And the best thing is, Hugo ordering me to drink more champagne.... or at least sparkling white as we have to call it these days.
He also loves it because it gives him a chance to use an awl. There's just not that much call for awls these days.
Lots and lots of love,
Kate xxooxx.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Squirrel Boy.

 During our travels, Hugo fell head over heals in love with squirrels. So when his cub-scout group announced they were having a 'come as your favourite animal night', his choice was swift. These nights though are a bit of a trick. Lots of work for something that is worn for maybe an hour or two if you're lucky.
 Instead of making a whole suit, we bought a grey hoodie jumper, some fluffy fabric and stuffing.
 We cut out a rough squirrel tail shape (very rough), sewed it up on the sewing machine and hand stitched it onto the jumper. Too easy.
 And then of course a little crochet acorn to finish off the costume.
Don't you love it when a squirrel hangs out with people gathered around a computer.  
Lots of love,
Kate xxooxx.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Your Weekend.

 I hope that your weekend has been either extremely engrossing.....
or restful..... or both.
Lots and lots of love,
Kate xxooxx.
p.s. Both photos were taken in Switzerland. 

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Library Love.

 One of the best things about being back is my library. It is so good to have a great stack of books for the family to work through again. We read constantly while we were away, picking up books here and there and I also had a jam packed kindle. But to have this pile without spending a fortune is gold.
 I'm so excited to have the last Deborah Harkness book in her All Souls trilogy. I've enjoyed it so much. Mary Lawson is such a favourite too. She writes such a beautiful stories set in Canada. I have also been loving 'Design Bloggers at Home' by Ellie Tennant. Their houses are sooooo pretty. No huge towering piles of washing and loom band detritus anywhere.
 I'm feeling pretty happy too after sending out a stack of Stanley books. Don't forget Little Woollie's giveaway over here. The winner will be drawn on Tuesday.
I hope you are having a lovely weekend.
Lots of love,
p.s. I am reading 'When the Cypress Whispers' by Yvette Manessis Corporon which is wonderful. Mum read it a little while ago and justifiably raved about it. I can't believe I have nearly finished it, it'll be like saying goodbye to a friend!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

A Crochet Bobble Trim Cowl.

It's cold here at the moment, the mountain range behind our house has seen snow this winter (a very rare occurrence) and I've been desperate for a new cowl to keep me warm in this frosty weather. I've mentioned previously that I did a bit of wool 'souvineering'  during our travels - it was quite a surprise at the end of the holidays to find our suitcase bulging with yarn. One skein that is a particular favourite (the blue one in the photo above) came from this shop (once again, a whole 'nother, 'nother post to do). It's from Ginger's own hand dyed collection, a 50% super wash merino and 50% silk mix. So pretty special. And it's taken me a few weeks to work out exactly what to do with it. I then chose a gorgeous tomato red from another collection as I adore these two colours together.
 I used a simple stitch as I felt that the wool was so luminous it didn't need to elaborately crocheted and then added this genius bobble trim from here. It's the most wonderful pattern and I am afraid that everything will now have bobbles attached. Can you imagine the boys in their fancy school jumpers?
The only problem was that the tomato red trim was scratchy. In fact, unbearably so which seemed very wrong when the cowl itself is like being wrapped up with kittens (maybe my neck is a bit sensitive). So, I unravelled the bobbles and began the trim again.
 This time with a bright spring mimosa. I love it even more and am tickled pink that our wattle tree is flowering at the moment with its yellow flowers against our blue winter sky.
Now, what to apply a trim to next....
Lots of love,
p.s. The yellow wool comes from a shop in Germany but I can't remember it's name.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

A Giveaway with Little Woolie.

 Did you know that Stanley came travelling with us? He was very well behaved, no food or toileting require. In my mind, a perfect travelling companion to have.  He even came to my most favourite shop in Bath - Wool. I am going to do a whole 'nother post on it because I love it sooooo much but here are a couple of photos for the meantime.
Now, onto other news. Did you know that Julie from Little Woolie is having a Stanley and the Hot Air Balloon giveaway over at her blog. If not you had better pop there now and enter. Quicksticks!

 Isn't this just the most beautiful shop ever. I can't wait to show you some more photos. 
Lots and lots of love,
Kate xxooxx.

Friday, July 18, 2014

The Best Mermaid Ever.....and it could be yours!

 This is Hannah. She is a beeeeaaaauuuutiful mermaid made by my very dear friend Amanda of Amanda Makes. There is a part of me that almost doesn't want to do this post as I would so love to buy Hannah myself (but don't worry, I am putting lots of bids on for her). However, my good conscience is winning out... and so, I will let Amanda tell you about Hannah (by the way, this is where you go to bid):
"So I finally got myself sorted and listed Hannah the Mermaid on Ebay! I am selling her to raise money for Cancer Research so if you'de like to give her a home then please follow this link and bid for her! The listing opens at 20.05 tonight. This is my really small way of trying to help in the fight against this dreadful disease. I know the devastation that cancer brings in it's wake, not just in terms of health but on so many other levels as well. I'm hoping and praying with all my heart that CRUK can help to find cures for the many different forms of cancer including the one that has struck my darling girl. It would be great if you could share this post as much as possible. Thank you all so much Happy bidding! Lots of love Amanda xxxx"
Amanda is the most wonderful person. On our travels she welcomed our boisterous family into her jewel box of a flat that she shares with her gorgeous daughter Jenny. And she made us feel so welcome and so loved and even let us sleep there for a couple of nights.
 Can you imagine the craziness that went on. Jonno may look a little concerned in this photo but really, he was as happy as a clam.
See!!! In fact, we may have made ourselves a little bit too much at home. 
How could we not though, Amanda has made the most beautiful place imaginable. The boys walked in and you could almost see their backpack-wearing, travelling shoulders drop in relief that they were finally in a place that made sense to them. And they looooooved Amanda so much that they have decided to come and live with her in Manchester and study gamekeeping (as you do).
 This is me in my favourite chair - I am sure that I didn't say to Archie - please take my photo in this chair.
 AND we made a Stanley together - I have a vague inkling that too much talking went on though. Archie kept us company with his hand knitting.
Such a special time and would you believe - there is another instalment to come.
Lots and lots of love,
p.s. Remember to go here.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Craft Bomb Your Bike.... The Book!!!!

 Every day I keep running down to the mailbox (we're on a farm, it's not a quick dash) to see if my new book has arrived. I'm still waiting - it should be here any day now but I can't wait any longer to show you - "CRAFT BOMB YOUR BIKE: 20 Makes for you and your bike" - dahdah!!!
Late last year I was contacted by David & Charles Publishing to contribute some projects to their new book on bicycle craft. Of course I said yes immediately as you probably know by now that I have my own highly dressed bike which I love and adore.
 I was very lucky and had three projects accepted - handlebar birds, rabbit ears for basket and bunting with bells (which is most handy for preventing heart attacks in the unaware as they can hear you coming).
 The first three photos are from the book.
 This is the bunting before it was sent away - I can't wait to see what it looks like in the book - you can just make it out in the top left hand cover of the book.
 I adored making the birds, they were such a pleasure. I have a pair for my bike and I have to admit that the male wears a top hat. More photos for another day.
So hopefully in the next couple of days I will have a copy in my hot little hand and will be able to show you more photos. But in the meantime if you would like to order it yourself, it's available here and here.
Lots and lots of love,
Kate xxooxx.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

My Best Mug.

 I bought this mug when I was in London at Liberty. We all had a special cup when we were travelling AND a thermos so we could stop whenever we were salty for a cup of tea.... this happened regularly. 
This particular stop was a bit special as it was by a loch in Scotland. One of the most picturesque cup-of-tea spots in my life..... except for the midges. Oh my giddy aunt. As soon as we were done, we ran to the car. They bite!!!!! 
I think the whole trip was worth it just because I get to drink my tea from this cup every morning. I love it sooooo much. Hope you are having lots of lovely weekend cups of tea.
Lots and lots of love,
Kate xxooxx.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Inspiration From Everywhere....

 When I was away, unlikely things filled me to the brim with inspiration. For one, chandeliers. I think we should have more - sure our ceilings may be a little low, but they could double as tiaras. 
 a lot of time was spent photographing them wherever we went. And I was satisfied with the results until Hugo showed me how he views them.
 Like this, from directly beneath. Although the jumper batwings aren't essential.
 What a world. Eight year olds are amazing aren't they. By the way, the first five photos of this post are from Warwick Castle.
 Fabric of course will always be at the top of my list - especially velvet. Can you imagine this being your bedspread. Even looking at this now I have an uncontrollable urge to lie down and nap.
 Velvet is so soft that it even makes this hot water bottle (very literal on the bottle) look cuddly.
 And then of course there are the Columbia Road flower markets. Can you believe that I was overseas during peony season!!!!

And last of all, swans.
 And cygnets. Anybody feel like resting their weary heads upon one of these little creatures - in a loving rather than crushing way.....
Or floating off somewhere like this? Oh Kensington Gardens or Hyde Park - I really can't remember when we crossed from one into the other but what magical places.
Lots and lots of love,
p.s. Too tired to read back on my writing so I hope I writ it well.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Hugo, Tiny Mice and the Ruins.

 Isn't it terrible, I've already forgotten where this is. Somewhere in Dorset I think. I'll look it up on the English Heritage site later. So, you might think that the boys possibly became a bit sick of seeing castles. They certainly lost patience quite quickly with us pointing out every bit of historic information ("But it's educational"...), the castles though were endlessly fascinating for all sorts of reasons as I am sure you can imagine. The ruins particularly sparked their imaginations though. 
I bought some little wooden animals in Switzerland for my photography. Hugo loved them and began setting up little scenes in nooks wherever we went. The tiny mice from the Stanley book (you can find the pattern for them here) also featured heavily in his scenes - just the right scale. And then when he found the catapult, well, he was in some kind of animal-rebellion-heaven.
Don't trust those tiny rabbits for a second. I am actually thinking of screwing a little loop into the back of one and turning it into a necklace. Is that cruel?

Hugo's catapult actually fires (and sharpens pencils). I think we both had a too much fine firing the animals. 
Lots of love,
Kate xxooxx.


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