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Hi, My name is Kate and this blog is all about my adventures of happy living. By that I mean crochet, chickens and cooking. Here's to the good life - and being a good wife! xxx

Sunday, 17 February 2013

7/52 - the warmth of the sun :)


1. How could I not include the exciting heart swap I received this week! You can read all about what was in those lovely red and turquoise packages here.

2. Pancake Day! Wahoo! I had such a fab evening. We had our lovely friends over for a home made lasagna and salad and then the famous Jubilee Pancake. Cherry's and ice cream ..... yummy! No complaints that night .... and if you are wondering which pancake recipe I swear by it is Delia's. Though instead of half water and milk, I use all milk.

3. Its been so nice to feel a little bit of warmth from the sun this week, wouldn't you agree. Yesterday I could wait to get into the garden and do a job I have been putting off for ages. I needed to tackle those unruly wild geraniums. Don't get me wrong, I love them, but just not everywhere, and certainly not chocking my spring bulbs and other plants.

So I set to it. A woman on a mission - with a spade. I feel so much better! My front beds are looking spacious and tidy ready for some lovely plants to go in. I also revealed hundreds of green shoots poking out of the ground.... hopefully some lovely crocus' and bluebells! I am a true sucker for spring bulbs!

So my third picture today is Ivy my chicken. She is filling out a lot, and producing some marvellous eggs! She certainly was happy with a couple of wheelbarrows full of weeds and clumps of wild geraniums to sort though. A little bit of green always does them good and the roots would have contained lots and lots of creepy crawlies!

4. A final joyous occasion in our house. Two beautiful bright red, ripe and delicious punnets of strawberry's. The perfect Saturday afternoon snack after a couple of hours in the garden!

I hope you have also had a great week!

Kate xxxxxxxxxxx


Saturday, 16 February 2013

Shopping Bag Love

Have I mentioned how much I love my Granny Chic book I had for Christmas off my sister who must know me so well! Well if I have forgotten to mention this small fact then ....... I LOVE IT!!!


I have a small plan of every time I buy some new yarn, I have to use some up from my stash .... as I have to admit it is getting slightly ridiculous! So I decided to balance the act of buying some lovely chunky yarn for a ripple blanket, by using up some sock yarn I had left over from a scarf I made last year.

After browsing the Granny Chic book for some divine inspiration I decided to make myself a string shopping bag. Without a cause, or planned use, I knew I wanted one hanging on my pegs in my newly decorated hall.


I set to it. Using a 6mm hook and some fine sock yarn. Making a lovely round base to start and watching the colours melt into one another. It was a dream to work with slight yarn and a big hook. So fast and easy to catch. No splitting and it quickly spiralled into a lovely circle which I then could build up from.


Oh the sides were wonderful too. Simply wonderful. Just a dc and ch5 into each gap. This created the most stretchy and shape adapting bag there ever was! And no signs of this one ripping under strain! This was going to be a very strong bag!

 

After I had hooked up the sides I decided to bring it in a little by decreasing every time by just 1. So I did 1 dc into 2 gaps and then ch5. This added a little shape and charm to my bag. And I think that is the beauty of crafting. Once you know what you are doing you can change a simple pattern or recipe into something that is truly your own. And if it goes wrong, who cares! That's the glory of crochet .... you can unravel up to where you went wrong!


Nearly done now. Just a couple of handles to make ........


So here is my ta-dahing moment. And what better place to ta-dah than on my new quarry tiles!!!!!

TA-DAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Such a fabulous way to keep all those gloves and hats together during winter. And I am sure I will think of a grand use during the summer! Maybe keeping my flip flops, a book and a blanket in .... all ready for summers day outing!

 

So if you are looking for a stash busting and quick project .... that is equally as satisfying then this is for you!

Speak soon and welcome to my new fabulous followers!

Kate xxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Heart Swap

I usually don't mind getting up early on a Saturday. Mostly because it means I can have a good catch up of all the weekly blogs and also post an update.

This week has been very exciting. I received a lovely parcel in the post. In fact .... Mr Postman couldn't get it through the door so I had the added further excitement of actually going to collect it.

I knew when I walked into the collection office exactly which one my parcel was. Not the ones in the brown and white packages .... oh no ..... there was one on the S shelf covered in heart tape .... I told the lady not to worry about looking because that one with the hearts on it would be mine (at this point I though ... Kate you are brave ..... what if it isn't!) and I was right!


I then had to have the Shall I Save It, Shall I Open It battle ..... and decided I should save it for the big V Day!

So here is what the lovely lovely Sue of @ home (to see her wonderful blog go to here) sent me.


Just in love with the red and turquoise! It killed me to open it ...... so I started first with the card.


How beautiful is it! This will be framed once I take my heart decorations down!


I love praline .... and I will be saving these as a special treat once lent is over! I can't wait!


Some pretty tissues and a lovely lip balm. Oh this lady knows me!

A lovely little handbag mirror in a cute drawstring bag.

 

A gorgeous tiny handmade note book that I filled with love vouchers for Craig and gave to him. Also a lovely heart shaped pom pom that Sue has been busy making for a lovely hanging mobile.


A beautifully crafted needle felted heart brooch. I adore this, I really do! I am going to put it onto my coat! Oh and see the cookie in the back ground!


A large stuff heart to hang with some lovely beaded and ruffled detail.


And my favourite thing. A hanging paper heart that twirls happily on my kitchen shelf with some lovely hanging buttons. I felt so treated!!!!

My house is so very hearty! Every where you go there are heart things hanging from shelves!


How lovely!


I think All4meggymoo  did a great job! And I do hope Sue likes her gifts!

Kate xxxx

Saturday, 9 February 2013

Craigs lovely Photos

So in my last post I mentioned the beautiful hour I spent waiting for him in a cafe gorging on carrot cake.

For Christmas I brought him a super duper DSLR camera and along side it brought him an experience at a wildlife sancturay where he would get the chance to photograph birds of prey (another passion of his).

The results were hundreds of lovely photos.

I hope you don't mind but I wanted to share a few of my favourites. I hope you like them too.


Before we set off he had a mini rehersal with our own chickens. I just love the rich colours of this photos. Its so warm and clear.

You'll have to forgive me but I am not sure of the names of the birds but this photo caught my eye as the owl just sinks into the tree. It's so camaflauge and with a little bit of cropping I think this would be a lovely print.


A close up of the own above. This time with a bit of gree moss and ivy to help him stand out a bit.


Although not a bird of prey, craig likes all birds! I love this shot. Somehow it makes me feel full of freedom. I love the empty sky the little bird is just about to adventure into.


Another Owl. This time a gremlin looking Owl. Grey body, bright yellow eyes and a lush green backdrop. Wait until you see the next one .......


Wow - what a close up. I don't know whether its cute, or scary ..... still it's such a good photo!


Another lovely close up, this time with some brilliant shadows and light bits. I really love this one. I think the little bits of straw give the picture some depth as well.


I hope you liked them too. It's not bad I think for a starter. I was so proud of him!

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Four things that have made me happy #5

 
1. A precious hour in a cafe. Just me, a pot of tea, delicious carrot cake and my new book. Total recharged batteries and the perfect way to spend an hour waiting for my husband (I will do a special post to let you know what he was up to while I was waiting!).

2. Freshly painted, glossed, tiled and carpeted hall/landing/stairs. My dad has been so kind to us spending time helping. I am so happy with the results. But it isn't half stressful when there is decorating going on. We don't even have that much "stuff" in the hall but it seems to still effect every room. I finished work early yesterday and spent a good three hours spring cleaning the home and getting it back to normal. Today I feel so nice about my house again! I am sure you all know what I mean!

3. A thrifty book find. After enjoying Starter for Ten and One Day I couldn't resist another David Nicholls book. I am already at the point of not being able to put it down.

4. Some bargains in Aldi for the garden. An apple, peach and cherry tree (Craig is currently planting them) and some seeds for when it gets a bit less chilly. I brought a few mixed packets as I love the surprise. I can't wait to see what comes up from the nostalgic Cottage Garden packet, or the bright Summer Long mix. I have treated myself to some primrose plugs, hollyhock seeds and some Chinese Lantern bulbs things week.

Saturday, 2 February 2013

Week 3 & 4 (52 Weeks of Happy)

I missed a week …. Not because I wasn’t happy …. I was ….. just busy.
 
Week 3; No photos .... just some love for my friends!
  1. Having encouraging texts from a sunshine of a work friend .... Lisa! And a precious and stolen half an hour coffee with a friend I don't see very often.
  2. My Dad sparing the time to paint and gloss my hallway.
  3. Working on a project with my Mum. We are a great team .... a dream team!
  4. A husband who is full of kind words and empowerment!
Now onto the less soppy and more interesting (for you I mean!) week 4 .....


1. A lovely box of chocolates from my hubby, with a treasured note inside! We have shared one a night before bed. They are scrummy yummy! Mmmmmm.

2. Using up some left over sock yarn for a shopping bag (taken from the Granny Chic book). I keep teasing Craig that I making it him as a man bag ... obviously I am not, it's just funny! I think I am going to keep it to collect all the plastic bags in. I love a bit of organising!

3. Practising the ripple technique thanks Attic24 for a planned housewarming present! My sister has just brought a house .... about 10 mins walk from me. And I want to make her something special. So I am trying different things out to make sure I get it "just right".

4. A new book! Yippppppeeeeee! I am now going to love you and leave you while I enjoy a coffee and some lovely browsing through each page of this delightful book.

xxxxxxx

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Swimathon

In an effort to become a better and fitter person I have signed up Swimathon 2013.

The last three weeks at the gym and pool have been brilliant. I have left feeling healthier and full of good little endorphins. All I needed was a challenge other than to be thinner. One that I couldn't get out of. One that needed a bit of commitment.

In a bid to challenge myself I decided it would have to be something swimming related. I am good at endurance, but a bit of a water baby .... better in the water than on land. I saw Swimathon adverts going up last week and decided this was the one.

So, on April the 28th at 1200 I will be doing a 2.5k marathon .... 100 lengths to be precise. All for a fantastic cause ... Marie Curie Cancer Care.

Today was my first proper session with the Swimathon in mind. I had 45 minutes and thought it best to just see how much I could do. I managed 50 lengths in that time. I was certainly most pleased! That means I am already half way there all by myself. I just need to now get up to 60, then 70, then 80 and so on ....

I don't really want to bore you with all of the little updates every time I get back from the pool. But just wanted to let you know I am doing it. And if at all you feel like you would like to sponsor me, then here is the link.

Also if anyone has any good ideas to help raise that little bit extra I would love to her them.

Kate xxx