Wednesday 6 July 2016

Almost There and New Books

We are Almost There. It feels like the end of term, and the end of the school year, and, for Little Miss, the end of primary school, is tantalizingly close now. We've still got a Summer Fayre, an Awards Evening, a School Play, a Leavers Picnic, a Leavers Disco, and a Leavers-Actually-Leaving-Thing to get through before we can breathe a collective sigh of relief at having survived another school year.

Meanwhile we are also Almost There with the house decorating. The painter was here for over 4 weeks - groan - but finally - hurrah - finished today. We didn't have anything structural or particularly messy done - thank goodness - how do people live through kitchens being ripped out and extentions built, knocking through etc ?? We only had cosmetic stuff done and it was stressful enough for me. As nothing major was done and we are only Almost There I'm afraid my photos aren't very exciting yet.

In all 9 rooms were painted - kitchen, front room, downstairs loo, playroom, our bedroom, our en-suite, main bathroom, Little Tomboy's bedroom and the under-the-stairs-cupboard-come-cloakroom. Does that count as a room ? Well, I have to say that once emptied and cleaned out and re-painted it looked amazing, I wanted to shove a mattress in there and lock myself in with a lamp and a book. And maybe a cup of tea. Each of the rooms was painted ceiling to floor, skirting boards, doors, door frames, and radiators. Lots of little jobs got done - new loo seat fitted, shelves put up, and - rather expensively - we now have lovely new chrome door handles - our old ones were very tarnished brass, very fiddly and fancy with twiddly little ends on which and I was forever catching my arm as I rushed past. They drew blood lots of times, I have little to scars to show for it - yikes.

We even had our front door painted and some nice new numbers affixed. The reason we are only "Almost There" and not actually "There There" is that we still have loads of general cleaning to do, furniture to be put back, and Stuff to find homes for. Stuff. So much Stuff. Where does it all come from ??? I'm sure we don't need it all. Hoping to have a bit of a purge over the weekend.

Meanwhile, rather unusually, I have broken out the knitting needles - I've seen so many people doing the Hitchhiker Scarf - most recently Meredith ( and I really fancied doing one myself. For the first time I purchased a pattern on ravelry, rather than using only free ones. And I must say it was worth it, I'm really enjoying it.

I'm a slow knitter, and I can't be doing with the counting etc that knitting seems to entail more than crochet, but I have to say that this is a great pattern, really simple and easy to follow, but produces a piece that is interesting in its structure. 

I'm doing it in this Sirdar yarn, I bought it ages ago because I just liked it - well, why not ?! The effect it produces is really quite intriguing, and I love the colours.

My crocheted star blanket is growing nicely too ....

I really need to crack on with it, I'd like to give it my friend before we go on our summer hols.

On a whim (I was looking for something else which I can't even recall now) I made a couple of eBay purchases this week - crochet books - yet another crochet-related addiction. I do like a good crochet book - as much for flicking through, as for making things from. Each of these were about £3, bargain-tastic.

"crochet love" has the tag-line "27 Sweet and Simple Zakka-Inspired Projects". Ever heard of "Zakka" ? No, neither had I. According to the blurb inside "Zakka is a Japanese term for a design sensibility that is cute yet sophisticated, playful yet profound, contemporary yet nostalgic". Glad we cleared that up !!

I don't know about profound but the designs certainly are cute and playful, here are some pictures from the book ....

"i love crochet" has some great really simple projects, some with a nice little twist .... like this little beaded pencil-case,I'm love the envelope-style closure, and the beads make it so pretty ...

... And there's a section on edgings and how to use them .... for example on this denim skirt ....

There are also some really fun pages .... very silly :)

Ooooh yes and I nearly forgot, I bought this one - full-price from Amazon - on the recommendation of a friend, and oh boy it is a beauty.

I reeeeeeally want to make everything in it Right Now. just look at these gorgeous gorgeous projects ....

Just totally swoonsome and gorgeous. Gorgeous gorgeous gorgeous. Did I mention they are all gorgeous ? Another book that's a joy to just sit and flick through with a nice cup of tea. Which is exactly what I'm going to do now :)

Til next time,