Monday, 30 December 2013

Quick Catch-Up

So in an attempt to try and ease myself back into blogging I thought I'd see how much I could remember from the last few months, and see if I could cobble together a few photos to go with it (I joined Instagram, but I don't really understand it). This won't be in any kind of order.

I've done some crochet. After the Skye blanket, I had a go at one based on Heather's Elmer Squares. It doesn't have a name, and both Chris and I decided that we prefer the back of it (with the cream seam grid pattern) more than the front.


front 


back
It is folded over one arm of my new armchair. Yes, I finally got a new suite in the living room.

The day it arrived... Mischief approves...

... and so does Millie...

My ripple blanket is over the other arm of the armchair, and the Skye blanket is on the back of it. The sofa is similarly draped in blankets (bought ones) in an effort to protect it from cat claws. And it's nice to just drag a blanket off the arm and snuggle down under it if you're a bit cold. I do think having blankets and throws draped everywhere can make the place look a bit untidy. But so can having a sofa which has been shredded by a cat who forgets where his proper scratching post is...

I also crocheted some facecloths which were given as Christmas presents to Chris, my mum and my mother-in-law, along with a bar of organic soap from The Highland Soap Company, who I discovered in Spean Bridge when we were on Holiday in June. I decided which soap to get, and then tried to buy similar shades of cotton yarn (King Cole bamboo cotton) so that it was all matchy-matchy. I had to make Chris's facecloths whenever he wasn't here, and I even took them to work to do in my lunch break. In the end, I had to work on my mum's and his mum's when he was here, and just hoped he didn't ask me to make one for him, and spoil the surprise. He was very pleased with his, and I think my mum was too. His mum said she could use her facecloth as a mat. I'm taking that as a compliment, that she meant it was so nice that she'd like to have it on show (rather than "let me hide it under the fruit bowl"). She's a pretty nifty knitter and crocheter herself so she knew it was handmade and I think she commented on how neat it was.

A few months back we went to Skipton for a wander around, and whilst there I bought two 100g balls of what I would call a 'tweedy' kind of yarn. I made a slouchy beanie hat a few weeks ago, and I've just made some fingerless gloves to go with it. I'm now about to embark on the scarf, but I've been looking for a pattern for some kind of unusual or different stitch, instead of just working back and forth in plain trebles.

I had a go at doing some special Christmas nail art; I don't have any special tools or brushes so it's never as neat as I'd like it to be.


Santa suit nails... think I did these last year too
 I always get compliments on them though, and other people tell me that they'd never be able to do it themselves. So, since my birthday is coming up in January and Chris wanted me to give him some ideas for presents, I've asked for a nail art kit. I'm looking forwards to practicing some new designs and patterns.*

Snow and snowman - ridiculously pleased with these!

Christmas was good, but unfortunately I couldn't get any time off work this year (apart from Xmas day and Boxing day) and you can't enjoy it the same when you know you're back at work so soon. I got some crochet books from Chris (which I'd asked for) and a couple of sewing books, because I think 2014 will be the year when I get a sewing machine. I was going to get one for Christmas, but there was a last minute change of plan. I also got some perfume, chocolates and a few other bits and pieces. We went to my mum's for a lovely Christmas dinner followed by the obligatory sprawl out on the sofa, half watching Top Of The Pops and the Queen's Speech, and half nodding off, eyeing up the chocolates on the table and telling yourself that you don't have room for any more food. My mum bought us a food processor/blender/juicer/dough maker thingamibob, so I really want to use it to do some baking, but we've got so many chocolates in the house, I shouldn't be introducing more calories. I could make some buns for work I guess.

On Boxing Day we went to Chris's mum and dad's and had another gorgeous dinner. His mum did some pork, but Chris had bought a duck crown and took it over on Christmas Eve so that she could cook that as well. There wasn't much meat on it, but it was beautiful. I've never had duck before, but I'm sure I will again. Sorry if you're a vegetarian. To be honest, I would say that I'm a very reluctant meat-eater. There is no sense or logic to my decision about what meat I will and will not eat. I'll eat chicken, lamb, beef, pork, turkey. At one point I probably wouldn't have tried duck, but for some reason I was quite eager to try it this time. I always swore that I'd never eat rabbit, until my mum informed me that I ate it a lot when I was little, but she told me it was beef! I don't like the idea of eating animals, but I do like some meat, and there's no point in me pretending otherwise. Anyway, sorry about that.

Over Christmas, I discovered two things. Celebrations have got rid of the Galaxy Truffle, which was one of the best ones, and replaced it with a Twix, which is ok, but not as good. Roses, however, now do a coffee cream, which is one of my favourites, although I know it's hit and miss for a lot of people. So, swings and roundabouts...

It was Chris's birthday just before Christmas. We went to see the latest Hobbit film, which was good but let's face it, just a filler. They could've squashed it all into two films. Afterwards, we drove to the coast (Hornsea) to have fish and chips for tea! It was dark, but we sat in the car looking at the moonlight reflecting on the sea, until all the windows steamed up from the heat of the food. We were going to have a walk around the shopping village but we got there five minutes before it closed, and the only shop that still had it's doors open was Thorntons. Oh dear. So we had to go in there and buy some chocolates for the drive home. And then we had his birthday cake to eat, a chocolate brownie one that I'd made in the morning. It was very nice, especially warm with cream...

Erm, I'm sure that lots of other amazing, interesting and exciting things have happened over the past six months, but they've just slipped my mind for now, so I think I'll leave it here. I'm off to eat some chocolate...

New Year sparkly nails












* I have quite long, thin fingers in real life, and I would probably say that my hands are one of my best features (there aren't many good bits to choose from), so why do they always look like a bunch of sausages in photos?

Sunday, 29 December 2013

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

My blogging has gone all to pot over the past few months. Since I wasn't writing much, I changed my settings to make the blog private, so I'm aware that I'm currently 'talking to myself' as it were. It's actually not such a bad thing, it's kind of liberating knowing that nobody is reading what I write, or don't write. I'm completely out of the habit of taking photos for the blog, which is another reason why I haven't been posting much. I know I've mentioned it before, but I think I've just really lost the blogging bug. I hope it comes back though, because when it's going well, I really enjoy it.

I haven't even been reading as many blogs as I used to do, apart from one or two favourites. I've just had a quick catch-up this morning, and I must admit, a lot of them are very samey. Everyone has taken photos of their Christmas trees, decorations, presents, turkeys etc. There are only so many photos of baubles that you can look at without getting completely fed up with them! The trouble is, if I was blogging properly, I think I'd have probably done the same, and I think that's another thing that I was getting a bit sick of.  I wasn't intentionally copying anyone else's style, but I think somehow all the blogs that I read (I'm mainly talking about the 'crafty' ones) as well as my own, they all started merging into one.

I don't know. I've got the radio on and it's distracting me, and I think I'm kind of waffling now! To be honest, I was going to write a proper post about all of the above, and my reasons for 'silent blogging', but it's all kind of come out there. This post was supposed to be just a quick one to say that...
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I hope you had a lovely Christmas (I did, but there are no photos!) and to wish you a very happy and healthy New Year.
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