Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Window shopping Wednesday

I've found that I'm always drawn towards muted colours, greys and browns and soft mossy greens are amongst my favourite.  So when bold, bright treasuries pop up in my activity feed, I find them extra-inspiring, especially this one from GlassPaperScizzors.

With this in mind, I've relisted my Christmassy gift tags, in bold seasonal red.  Because a red hot gift requires a red hot gift tag!

Monday, 24 October 2011

Going on vacation

I'm closing up the shop for a few days as I'm not very well, some virus thing that's doing the rounds.  I'm off on a mini-break at the end of the week so I'm putting all my energy into getting better.  See you in about a week or so.

Saturday, 22 October 2011


So from wintry, I'm now back to feeling Autumnal after hearing about a fantastic new exhibition in Sheffield, Stagtacular!  If you're in the area, read more about it via Vertiline in Love.  One thing I wish I had a camera handy for was when I saw a stag by the side of the road in December 2009.  I was driving alone, back from Loch Lomond through dense fog to my flat in Glasgow, after a weekend in the countryside with friends.  I was so glad that stag was on the side of the road and not in the middle of it! 

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Window shopping Wednesday

This week I've been inspired by actual windows!  The shops in Glasgow are full of jewel tones this season, particularly the inky blue crockery from Hermes on display in Frasers and the deep purple bags in the window at Mulberry.  Here's the take on this season's hottest colours from Etsians (mostly) in the UK.

Monday, 17 October 2011

Basketweave blanket update

I finally managed to get some half-decent photos of the blanket I made recently for Amelia's cot, now the nights are getting a little colder.

Basketweave is one of my favourite patterns for knitting, and it's so easy and quick to knit up into a repeating pattern that is striking in its simplicity.  I particularly liked knitting with this yarn, Sirdar Denim Ultra.  It is quite 'splitty' to knit with, so you need your wits about you, but the shade of brown I used was made up of about 10 strands comprising cream, dark chocolate and milky coffee colours which worked so well together.

To come up with the pattern, I simply measured up the size of Amelia's cot (well, looked it up on the IKEA website, because I do most of my knitting while she's asleep in said cot!) and checked out the ball band.  Denim ultra knits to 9 stitches & 12 rows to 10x10cm on 10mm needles.  I don't have 10mm needles, so I knitted it up with 10 stitches to 12 rows on 9mms and tried to keep my knitting on the loose side. 

I wanted my blanket to have 10mm "squares", so I cast on 70 stitches, k10 and p10 (repeat) until I'd knit 12 rows.  Then I swapped to p10, k10 to create the woven effect.  120 rows gave me a blanket that was 70cm x 100cm and fitted the cot a treat.  It took just over 4 balls of the yarn.  If I had more of this yarn, I might have knit up several more panels to make a larger throw for an adult sized bed.  It also makes a great textured cushion cover, just measure up how much you'd need to form an envelope around a cushion pad, and get knitting!

As it is, I'm keeping an eye on eBay as there are some great bargains to be had at the end of the season, and a blue denim version would be just the thing for my nephew's bed.

Saturday, 15 October 2011

Treating myself

While you're reading this, I'll be in Glasgow collecting my brand new lovely sewing machine from local craft supplies emporium deluxe, The Life Craft, in its new premises at De Courcey's arcade.

While we're talking sewing, here's my first-ever attempt at patchwork from a couple of weekends ago, a cover for my old machine as its original plastic cover was seriously falling apart.  In an ironic development, my husband was so impressed by what I'd made, he has decided that the time has come to upgrade to a far better machine and we're calling it an early Christmas present - hurrah!

If you're interested in making such a cover, here's how I made it.  I loosely measured the width, height and depth of the machine and calculated how many 10cm squares I would need to cover the surface area.  I sewed them together in strips and made a cross-shape piece of patchwork with the strips, which I then lined with plain navy blue fabric, after closing up the strips to fit around the machine in a kind of paper-bag effect.  I checked the size by holding it against the machine as I went (I am not the scientific type), and it worked out kind of okay.  I think if I make another one, I'll be more disciplined about measuring and trimming and squaring up my work as I go, but I was so excited to see how it would look that I kind of rushed the sensible aspect of my work.

I'm sure there'll be more patchwork to come - in fact I posted up a photo on my personal facebook page and had some interest in commissions from friends - so stand by for more photos of my patch-themed handiwork here.

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Window shopping Wednesday

Oh I can't wait for Hallowe'en this year!  I'll be enjoying the last day of my holiday in England, kicking up some leaves and trying to take as many photographs as I can - because Marceline has proposed it as the next Day in the Life bloggers date.

In the meantime, to help you get into the mood, too, here's a collection of some lovely spooky things from Etsy for this week's round up of my virtual shopping list... but what to choose?

If you fancy winning something spooky, hop back over to the Asking for Trouble blog and try to get your mitts on a little handmade ghost before the contest closes on 14 October.

Monday, 10 October 2011

My kind of office

Ahhh, I dream of days when I might work in a cosy little corner like this:

Photo credit to The Window Shopper and finding credit to friend of Answers on a Postcard, jeweller extraordinaire, Laura Baillie.  I hadn't caught up with Laura's blog in ages and was really excited to hear that she is having a pre-Christmas sale event at her beautiful home, on 12 November.  For more details, check out her blog.  If you can't get to Scotland, but still admire Laura's work, find her on facebook for giveaways, special deals and great competitions.

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Window Shopping Wednesday

I was thinking the other day that I should really sort out my music collection, there are some records I haven't heard in ages and would really like to dig them out again.  Our CDs are all up in my husband's parents' loft, this was meant to be a temporary measure as we moved, but then our iTunes account imploded somehow, so we need to re-download them all. 

As most readers will know, we really have our hands full at the moment with two full time jobs, two homes, three businesses, one child and two cats to juggle, so digging out my 2000+ CDs is not a priority right now.  Yes, I have a lot of CDs.  In my defence, I used to be a music journalist and music was a big part of my life.  Fifteen years ago if I wasn't reading a book, writing notes and and listening to a CD all at the same time, I was probably asleep.  With the radio still on.  Instead, I am relying on 6music and of course my own wonderful (!!) singing voice to keep us going.  This recent treasury was inspired by the last song on Bjork's album Debut. 

I am still a little bit on edge when I see people making art with altered book pages (oh my gosh you can't write on a book!) but I am trying to relax about it a little bit.  This treasury marks an important step in my recovery, and I hope you enjoy it.