Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Just Because...

Love them to bits!!

Tuesday, 18 March 2014


I've been saving all my snipped-off ends, almost since I first started seriously crocheting, in a glass jar. I could see the different layers - threads that I'd used in an early cat blanket; all the colours from my first ripple; the blues and greens from my Skye blanket. Didn't take a photo unfortunately. Today I decided to put them into a bird peanut feeder, to see if they would be useful for nest-building. I've heard that this is what other people do, so I thought I'd try it.

I'm a little concerned about 'health and safety' - as a lot of it is acrylic rather than natural fibre, I didn't know if there were any dangers to the birds. But when I mentioned it to Chris he pointed out that they use all sorts of unnatural fibres in their nests, plastic twine etc, and it doesn't seem to do them any harm. And they're not eating it, just using it as building material, so hopefully it's ok.

I had to press it down into the feeder with a wooden spoon, there was so much of it, but it's poking nicely out of the holes, so fingers crossed the birds appreciate it. I hung it on a hook at the end of the garage, nearest to the trees at the back of the garden, as that's where we see all the bird activity.

This is where I read that you should use natural fibres, but the whole article is very interesting.

Monday, 17 March 2014


A meander through Pinterest led me down the pastel route for this week's nails:

Do you like how I'm just casually holding a ball of yarn? I've been making cat blankets (just a granny square, keep going till I think it's big enough) out of my stash yarn, and while I was using this one today I noticed how similar the colours were to my nails. It wasn't planned that way, honest. So I thought, hey, photo opportunity!

I wrote down the colours of the polish but the list is upstairs, and I'm downstairs, so I'll have to do it from memory:

Thumb - 'Mary Mary Quite Contrary' by Rimmel (where do they get these names from?)
Index - 'Ariadne' - Salonniere by Jenny Packham, I think (it was in a box set of five, I think it's from Boots)
Middle - started out as 'Daydream' from the aforementioned Jenny Packham box set, but it was a really pale, see-through peachy colour which I wasn't keen on, so started again with a pink Barry M, I think 'Strawberry Ice-Cream'
Ring - 'Mint Green' by Barry M
Little - Barry M again, but the name escapes me.

I use a Collection2000 base coat and ridge filler, and a top coat called something like Double Duty, which I think is by Sally Hansen. God, I've got a memory like a sieve!

Anyhoo, there they are!

Saturday, 15 March 2014

Scarf, deconstructed...

Do you remember this scarf?

I never really liked it, once I'd finished it. As I mentioned in the post, it ended up quite long and stretchy. The yarn was lovely and soft, but somehow it didn't feel as nice when it was made up. Plus, I used some pink stash yarn to do a kind of border, which didn't really help it at all.

I'm afraid after I'd finished it, it just got shoved into a drawer, out of sight, out of mind. Never to be seen again, let alone worn.

The other evening, I decided to have a sort out of my stash, with a view to maybe giving away some of it to charity. I found the scarf in the drawer, and I... um... had a moment. You know, one of 'those' moments.

So this is how the scarf looks now:

I'm a bit annoyed that I've kind of ruined four perfectly nice balls of yarn, because I'm now left with lots of very short bits (the first rounds of the flowers), and then some slightly longer bits. But you live and learn, I guess. I'm going to have a play with it and see what I can make with those shortest bits - if there's enough to make the first couple of rounds of a granny square then it might become another scarf. Or perhaps I could manage a skinny ripple? I definitely want to use it for something!

If you have any suggestions for what I could make with it, I'd love to hear!

Saturday, 8 March 2014

Funny Shop Name Of The Week

Spotted in a Lidl car park one evening.

Friday, 7 March 2014

Empty Shelf - Still Full

I'm still trying to do the Empty Shelf Challenge, although it's going quite slowly, and I've not been updating Twitter.

I finished The Probable Future by Alice Hoffman back in January, and the next book I picked up was Star Of The Sea by Joseph O'Connor. I didn't get very far into it at all, and after a month I abandoned it.

In the meantime, I started using Read It Swap It again, and I uploaded a few books onto there. I had a few requests to swap, and eventually I plumped for A Cold Season by Alison Littlewood, partly because the plot sounded interesting, and partly because the author lives near me!

So that was a slight detour from the (full) empty shelf, but I'll be choosing another book from there shortly.

I was going to carry on adding books to RiSi, but really I need to get rid of some books without replacing them, to make some room, so swapping isn't actually the best thing for me right now. One of my colleagues used to have a bookshelf in her office where people could supply / borrow books; we've just moved into one big office where the whole department is together, and at first she said she wasn't going to bother with the bookshelf any more. Today I asked her if she'd had second thoughts, and she grinned and pointed behind her - she'd already started it up again! So I think I'm going to take my books into work now, and add them to the shelf. It's a lot easier (and cheaper) than going to the Post Office with them.

P.S. I'll be reviewing these books properly (well, in a fashion) on my Books I've Read page.

Thursday, 6 March 2014

Crochet Ta-dah!

I made a minion!

Well, a minion hat, to be precise!

For a small head!

Currently being modelled on a plant pot, next to my crocheted coasters.

It's for the son of friends of ours, who we look after each week. A couple of times now, when we've been coming back here after picking him up, he's commented that he has seen a minion. It took us a while to figure out what he was talking about, but it turns out it's on a poster, I think either a billboard or the small ones they put in phone boxes, although neither of us has spotted it yet. It's funny what children notice, isn't it?

Anyway, I've seen loads of patterns for them, so I thought I'd have a go at making him a hat. I found this one on Ravelry, and followed the measurements for toddler/child (he's four - the next size up is for a teen). It looks too small to me, but I'll let him try it on next time he's here - maybe it will stretch. He's a very observant little boy, so I'm going to leave it there on the mantlepiece and see how long it takes him to notice it!

Chris has said that he could be up for having a minion hat too, so I might be making a larger sized one for him...

Edited to add: It fit!! It only took him a few minutes to spot it. He pointed up at the mantlepiece and asked "what's that?". I pretended to not know what he meant, and he kind of went a bit coy and said "that minion's looking at me". So I told him it was a hat and asked if he wanted to try it on. He said no. Oh. So me and Chris made a big deal of trying it on our heads, but of course it was too small, and eventually we persuaded him to try it. I asked if he wanted to keep it but he didn't. Oh.

Anyway, when it was time for him to go home, I just casually said "do you want to put this hat on to go home, keep your head warm?" and he really sweetly said "is it mine?". I think he was a bit overcome that we were just giving it to him. So we said it was his if he wanted it, and he put it on and kept it on all the way home to show his dad and older brother (mum was out). Whether we'll ever see it again is another matter, but I'm just glad he liked it! 

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Very quickly...

... running out of titles for posts about my nail polish!

I wanted to take a photo of my nails every week (or every time I did something new, which so far has been weekly). But last week I failed miserably - I don't like to take a photo on the day that I do them, because I'm worried I'll smudge them whilst trying to operate my camera, so I prefer to wait until the next day, when they've had chance to dry. Didn't happen last week though, I just didn't get around to it, and after a few days they were starting to chip and it was too late. It's a shame, because it was a lovely colour - 'Mocha' Matt Effect by Barry M. I'll definitely use it again so hopefully I'll get a photo next time.

This week is another Barry M - 'Heather', and on the lid of the bottle it says Silk. I guess it's like paint where you have matte and silk emulsion, and then gloss - silk is somewhere in between matte and shiny. I've put a top coat on though, so it's basically just glossy. It's a lovely colour, but possibly a bit pale for me. Seems to be lasting quite well though.

I tried to take a photo like the ones you see on Pinterest / Google images, where the hand is casually holding the bottle of polish, whilst showing off the nails. My hand just looks deformed.

How about a bit of a close up?

Slightly better.

As you can see, it's just plain nail polish, no nail art. I do find it quite time consuming, having to wait for the polish to dry before adding more to the design, and I paint my nails at the weekend when I'm also doing laundry, housework etc. So if I'm pushed for time, I'll just be doing one colour, nothing fancy.

So they are this week's nails.

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