About Me

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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

Saturday, 27 October 2012

Christmas Stockings

Today has gone just as planned. A lazy morning, a lovely fry up (yummy) and a good session on my sewing machine.
My plan for a homemade Christmas is going well, I must admit. I have found refuge in lots of hooky time and really enjoyed writing out a list of what I will make for each person I am sending a gift to. And guess what, I am on schedule!
Today was a great opportunity to sit down and try and recall the Stocking Workshop I attended over two weeks ago. Lindsey and Sandra must have done a good job because I had no problem!
I cut out all of the components and stitched them together. Oh I do love my sewing machine, it works like an absolute dream! I love hearing it chugging along keeping me company while I make!

I even remembered to snip into the curves!!

And they are hanging (only for a few minutes for my to enjoy though ... far to early for festive decorations!!)

I loved using this lacy trim to add a little vintage cheer. Doesn't it look like rolling snowy hills and Christmas trees. I would love to be somewhere like that now. All wrapped in lovely woolly warmers! Ahhhhhh!

This is the reverse of the third stocking. I actually think it looks really nice. Simply red, white and green. :)
Lovely ribbon, salvaged of a pyjama packet! Isn't it funny how when you start crafting, everything can be put to use!

I am starting to use my Facebook Page a lot more (do please pop over and say hi) as I am not getting as much time to write full blogs at the moment. So its great to just do a quick update and have a chat!
Finally, pop over to my Snowflake Swap post and put your name down! Go on ... it'll be fun!!!
Kate xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Monday, 22 October 2012

Deer Watching - The Rut

 Yesterday I went on an adventure. Me and Craig set our alarm for ten to seven, got on our clothes and drove up to Cannock Chase. We were going deer stalking in the hope of finding the rut.
The rutting season (deer mating season) happens from the first frost and is an exciting season where male deer fight in order to gather female deer. It is a visual and audio feast of nature at something that both me and Craig have been desperate to experience firsthand but have not yet been so lucky.

It was still dark and very very foggy. Although this meant we could not see more than five foot in front of us, it also meant the deer couldn't see us. Once up on the chase we walked to the spot where we thought they would be and instantly heard some barking and antlers smashing against each other.

We followed the sounds and after half an hour found the rut! Being careful not to make too much noise by crunching on stones underfoot or treading on twigs and branches (good exercise walking like this - I tell you!).

We were sat in a small coppice and it was very evident that this was the stag and his harems territory. We watched the stage pace up and down barking (see video below from YouTube which is a good example of the type of noise the deer make).

I cannot tell you how intimidating and scary it was sitting in a coppice with a stag completely charged on testosterone. It was incredibly exciting though and we sat behind a tree, quite a mouse, in complete awe! As it was so foggy, which let me add created this eerie atmosphere, I have videos but the photos didn't turn out right which is a shame.

This photo is the males "stand". This is where he paces and urinates which attracts females and brings them to oestrus. You can see the ground has turned to mud and has lots of deer prints in it.

We were not lucky enough to see male deer fighting but plan to adventure out again next weekend. Fingers crossed. If we had though this is what it would have looked like, minus the fog!

Here are a few shots of the deer we saw moving spot, there was a large stage and six doe's.

Have you ever seen any deer? If so where is your best viewing spot?

Just another video clip taken from Autumn Watch which shows the majestic beauty of red deer .....

Happy Rutting Season xxxxx

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

WIP Wednesday

I have decided to link into WIP Wednesday over at http://tamisamis.blogspot.co.uk/2012/10/work-in-progress-wednesday-115.html today.

This week I will be mostly focusing on getting the pre Christmas gifts completed. And to be honest I am not far off!

I have about half of my snood left to do.

And only 10 half circles on my scarf (I'd show you a picture, but that would ruin the surprise for one of my readers who it is a gift for!).

A brief post I know. I have lots I need to do tonight including finishing off WIPs, making more advent bags and catching up on last nights Great British Bake Off ....

Just one more thing though. Why not pop along and check out my swap here? Go on I know you want to! xxxxx


Monday, 15 October 2012

Snowflake Swap


So here it is. The first GTM2C swap. And as I am a sucker for Christmas then it is going to have a festive theme.

So welcome everybody to the Granny Taught Me To Crochet Snowflake Swap for Christmas 2012!!!!!!!!!

Snowflakes are the most fascinating little things. They always have six sides and it is thought that no snowflakes are exactly the same.

They come in all shapes a sizes and the biggest ever snowflake landed in Montana in January 1887. It measured 38cm wide and 20cm thick!

For me they are so festive. I have memories of my dad spraying them on our windows with stencils in the run up to Christmas. Transforming boring white paper into the most intricate snowflakey designs by using scissors. Hanging beautiful wooded snowflakes on the Christmas tree. And now .... admiring lovely crochet patterns to make decorations by crocheting them (check out Attic 24 and Lucy's pattern).


So who's up for a little bit of jolly fun?

The rules

Let me know you want to join in by leaving me a comment either on my facebook or blog page.
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/#!/groups/179198652217037/
Blog - http://grannytaughtmetocrochet.blogspot.co.uk/

Let me know what country you are from and if you are prepared to post internationally or not.

I will then tell you who your partner is on the 13th of November so you must let me know by then.

Once you have been partnered up get to know each other by looking at their blog and seeing what they like doing.

Contact each other and set a budget. Don't worry if you don't want to spend a lot. Some of the best swaps I have done have cost as little as £3!

You can send as many items as you like (probably best to set a total with your partner too) and all of them must be festive. Including a homemade snowflake. Be creative! It could be knitted, hooked, stitched or felted! Use your imagination! Other treats could include craft box items, sweet treats, yarn and fabric or vintage christmassy items.

All packages must be sent by 13th December to ensure they arrive by Christmas and then we can all post about them during Christmas week. I bet you won't be able to save your beautifully wrapped parcels until the big day!!

Just thinking about it makes me feel lovely and warm - oh how I love Christmas!

So who is going to play?

If you fancy you can spread the word by adding my swap badge to your sidebar or facebook page, linking back to this post.


Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Stocking Making Workshop


Wow what a busy day.

This morning I got a good sew-on and completed 20 little bags.

Don't you just love this reindeer fabric I picked up from a little haberdashery shop in Wales!?

I have just got back from a lovely workshop on making stockings. It was held by the lovely Lindsay and Sandra at The Sewing Shop in Lichfield. Check out their facebook page for loads of inspirational pictures and crafty chat.

When I arrived I was greeted with a lovely hot mug of tea and got to choose two types of fabrics. The choices were endless with lots of traditional holly's, warm reds and lush greens. I thought I would go for something bright though seen as I already was doing my advent bags in traditional fabrics. So I chose this gorgeous contemporary bright green and pink fabric with little snowflakes and cute Christmas trees on. Isn't it beautiful!

As I was a little late (my mistake ... and I thought I was super early!) I got a little bit mixed up with the lining and the outside but Lindsay was so good at explaining and together we overcame the challenge of working which piece of fabric needed to go on the outside and which fabric needed to be on the inside.

We then had a gorgeous mince pie. The first of the year, which we all decided deserved a wish. But I won't tell you what mine was, now that would be telling!

Then it was onto the sewing machines to put the stocking together. My favourite bit!

It was the most challenging part of the workshop was then putting the edging on, along with the ribbon and having lots of ends to catch into the hem. The last job is always the most nerve racking though because so much work has gone into the project. But we all were so pleased when we turned our stockings out and revealed a lovely piece of work.

I then had free reign of the shop and spent a good 30 minutes discussing ideas with the ladies and deciding which fabrics to take home for stocking #2. I chose some lovely autumnal colours to match our living room. I'm sure whatever is left over will make a lovely patchwork cushion.

I was really spoilt for choice but eventually decided on five contrasting fabrics and had some fat quarters cut fresh off the bolt!


I also went with a shopping list so I could finish off the advent project and came back with some lovely ribbons, threads and buttons.

I also couldn't resist half a meter of this reindeer ribbon and the best bargain of the day ... 3m of pretty lace for £1!!!

So I feel inspired and ready to get making on my 2nd day of craft. Yippee!!!

Oh, I almost forgot, fancy a look at the finished product?

Here we go ....

Looking slightly premature there on the bar walls usually covered in cards and decorations ... but doesn't it look great!

Before I go I must let you all know I have just set up a Granny Taught Me To Crochet group on Facebook. I hope you get a chance to pop by and say hello!

Kate xxxx

And relax!

Well my interview is now over and after all the adrenalin it is taking longer than expected to relax. There has been plenty of insomnia, cured by lots of toe wriggling (does anyone else do that to help them go back to sleep - I read it once and it does help?).
I felt like the interview went really well and I will find out on Friday if I get the job, but whatever happens I have been successful to get this far! It has really been a valuable learning curve. There were thirteen questions, and I was in there for a hour and twenty minutes. Yesterday I felt all the stress come out in a little but strong pain behind my eye. Isn't it funny how stress can manifest itself in a little place!

I now have three days holiday booked. Bliss. Today and Thursday I am having a huge Christmas crafting surge. I am so excited!
Today I want to carry on with my lovely little advent bags and at 1:30pm I am booked to go on a Christmas Stocking Workshop at the lovely Sewing Shop in Lichfield. I hope they let me take lots of photos so I can blog about it later. I also can't wait to have a look in the shop and maybe get some lovely new treats! Yippee!!

Tomorrow I want to have a yarny day. I am doing the Join as You Go circle scarf which is nearly finished and I also want to make a couple of snoods for men in my life (Daddys, brothers and husbands of course)! Maybe start some Christmas bunting and of course finish off the day at the lovely Jenny's knitting class. 
I also want to start designing some felty home made decorations! I am thinking of making some birds as they went down well, but this time less of the red-white-blue, and more of the lovely rich Christmas colours I adore!
Oh boy I can't wait! I think this will give me an excellent head start! I can't think of a more delicious way to start winding down after a heavy worky couple of weeks.
Then on Friday we are off for a nice romantic weekend to the Cotswold's. Ahhhh - my blood is starting to cool just thinking about the next five splendid days!
Kate xxxx

Monday, 8 October 2012


Ada (Vinatge Sheet Addict!) has tagged me! I couldn't resisit an early morning bit of fun before the interview looms .....

The Rules:

Each tagged person must post 11 random facts about themselves.

Answer the 11 questions set by previous blogger.

Create 11 more questions.

Tag 11 more blogs, with less than 200 followers.

Inform the blogs they've been tagged!

So here are Ada's lovely questions .....

What's on your bedside table?

Well my bed side table is a beautiful old dressing table. It has a lamp, coaster and book (Perfume - the Story of a Murderer near to my bed.

On the other side if has my lovely jewellery box, perfumes, bottles and my treasures!

What's on the top of you wardrobe?

My wardrobe goes up to the ceiling. It was built at the beginning of the year by me and my Dad in and I am utterly in love with it!

Happiest memory?

Getting married of course! It was the most perfect day and I love my Craig so much it makes me want to burst!

Favourite toy as a child, or adult?

I remember I used to love playing with my toy kitchen and also loved gathering my Mum's pegs and making a washing line out of string hanging from my wardrobe door to the curtain rail and pegging out all of my dolls clothes.

Me and my sister also used to have a great time getting all of our videos out and playing shops with the toy till.

Favourite toys as an adult??? ..... knitting needles, crochet hooks and sewing machine!!

Your perfect holiday destination?

Anywhere with some sunshine and the sea. I loved Turkey for our honeymoon, Cardigan Bay for this years holiday and California for travelling around (the Big Sur is something else!).

Spring or Autumn?

Definitely an Autumn girl. My birthday is in September and for me it means new opportunities and new beginnings. I become very melancholy but if I think about all the good things and luck in my life it has always happened from Sept - Dec.

We also live near a huge forest and it just looks divine at this time of year.

What's your moto, number one rule, you live your life by!

Be Calm, Positive and Believe. This is my husbands mantra .... when I need reminding he says "Kate! CPB!". I would also like to add onto his little phrase .... and for everything else there is wine and a hook!

If you had a time machine, what year would you like to land in?

This is a really tricky one. To be honest I wouldn't want to go anywhere at the moment. But I would like to go right back ... to King Arthur times and see what it was like. Or the end of the 2nd World War when everything felt good!

Roast dinner or fish and chips?

Roast dinner .... no .... lets improve on that .... Christmas Dinner!!!! Yummy!

What makes you 'belly laugh'?

So many things. I tend to laugh all the time. The office I work in is full of laughter. My home is full of laughter and my friends are all funny. And if all else fails I stick on a bit of Absolutely Fabulous! Sweetie dharling!

Favourite outfit, past or present?

Pyjamas!!!!!! Every time! I love feeling cheeky enough to get home in the winter and stick on my favourite PJ's at 5 o clock! Snugly beyond belief! And an excellent excuse for not going out and staying in to hook!

So now I guess I need to nominate 11 people and give out 11 questions! (Please don't feel you have to do this though - its a bit of fun, I won't be offended!). xxx

I would like to find out the following things .... I have changed it a little bit though. Slightly Desert Island Disks!

You have to make a soundtrack to your life. You have 11 songs and they all have a theme. What do you chose and why?

  1. You
  2. Getting ready
  3. Crafting
  4. Christmas
  5. Party
  6. Family
  7. Friends
  8. Old Memory
  9. New memory
  10. Romance
  11. The future
I would like to nominate all of my followers!!!!

Please let me know if you do it and i'll tag you at the bottom of this post in a couple of days so people can come your way!

Good luck everyone. xxxxxxxxxxx