Sunday, 28 November 2010

Homestead loveliness

Every year Heidi hosts a Christmas shopping event in her gorgeous home so Anne and I went along, taking a few choice items for sale and in the vain hope that there would be some determined shoppers prepared to brave the snow and arctic temperatures.

Cliff was none too happy about sharing his couch with our goodies - we had to relent and move the books - an old boy needs and deservers his own space.

Some of Linda Nicholson's fab fabric pictures (yep, just had to have one...)

Some of Heidi's lovely offerings (yep, had to have some of them too)

Charlie makes himself comfy above the radiator, having given up looking out for customers 

Some of Rosella's amazing crochet - such an expert, makes me feel like a complete amateur (and yes, had to have a little shop here too)

Unfortunately, Anne wasn't feeling too well and we had already been warned that the weather was deteriorating so we headed home mid afternoon (fortunately for my bank balance!!)

Heading through an icy tree tunnel

Blurry shot from the car window as we neared home

A heavily laden sky about to unload just as we got home.

I also bought some of Jilly's all butter shortbread - I'd like to take it to Finland with me tomorrow but Will's face nearly fell a mile when I mentioned that idea so it's staying here.  Might have to make a cup of tea and have a piece before it all goes!

It's a shame the weather kept the shoppers away but it's always nice to be at Heidi's - it's so welcoming and she has great taste - and in her friends too, lots of talented and like-minded ladies, always a pleasure to be in their company.

As I said, Finland beckons for me tomorrow (secretly praying for enough snow to close the airport but so far there's nothing over that way!)  It's very snowy and cold there but at least it won't be too much of a shock to me. 

Good luck to all intrepid travellers.  Have a great week.

Note for Lynne, Lynda and Fee (thanks so much for your comments)
Heidi's home is delightful and lends itself perfectly to a certain kind of homespun magic.  Linda's picture of hearts is made from vintage American feedsack material which Heidi bought back from the US for her.  Check out her designs via the link.  Heidi will soon be opening a new website under her own name - Heidi Jackson - I'll let you know when she is up and running.

Saturday, 27 November 2010

Silent Night..

... Silent Day.  You know when it has snowed even before you open the curtains and take a peek outside.  There's a different feel to the day and a hushed tone, as if the world has suddenly stopped.  The only sound I can hear as I type this is the boiler cranking up, working full tilt to keep us warm and toasty.

If only I'd had enough money to install a sauna my 'Summer' House could have been an all season house.  Could of had a proper Finnish sauna today and made snow angels in between sessions!

Will is in heaven, loving the snow - 'sweeeeet' - apparently the word on the street.  He reverts to a 6 year old rather than his 19 years and is off sledding today - as soon as his hangover wears off that is.

I love the snow too - to look at.  Hate driving in it and I have to go to Finland again on Monday so am hoping the Pennines are clear and the journey to the airport won't be too scary mary.

There's more snow in the sky just waiting to fall...

At least it gives me an excuse not to go out so I can stay in my pjs and as soon as I have finished my tea I'm going to indulge in a morning of sewing.  

Keep warm, stay safe and have a great day.


Wednesday, 24 November 2010

A making frenzy and indecision...

It's getting closer and the days are not getting any longer.  I'm in a tizzy of indecision and projects.  

There's the granny square blanket I'm making from all the odd bits and pieces of yarn I have. It's coming along nicely and rather addictive as I try out new colour combinations.  (Not another blanket, Mum, my youngest cries - and looking around the lounge he may have a point so I have put a couple away for now).

The knitted/crochet blanket I'm making for son number 1 (he doesn't want one but I'm making him  one anyway to see if I can convert him to the wonders of homespun!)  It should also be interesting to see his 'thanks, I love it' fake face when he opens it at Christmas :)  This one is a mixture of knitting and crochet - only another 24 squares to go.  On reflection, this may have to be a Christmas present for next year.

There's the blanket I'm making for son number 2 (he does want one - he loved his Baktus scarf I made for him to wear when he goes to NYC soon) and I found some lovely wool/acrylic/alpaca mix yarn that is soooo soft and chunky.  It's called Peru by Katia and is very reasonably priced which is good news for a blanket project as I am knitting this on size 6mm needles and one square has taken one ball.

There are the crochet stars I'm making from Yvonne's Yvestown blog post.  I've used thin crochet cotton and a 1.5 hook and 4ply white Patons cotton with a 2.0 hook - not a project for nighttime as I  go practically cross-eyed!

And the Copenhagen pillow, also from Yvestown.  This one will have to be a gift - my sons and sister are afraid that one day they will find me dead in a sea of crochet cushions!

Not to mention all the yarn for scarves just waiting to be made up.  Yikes.

Son number 3's girlfriend wants mittens for Christmas and I can't find a pattern I like.  She's tiny so if anyone has any suggestions I'd appreciate them!  Son number 2 also wants a cowl scarf - I've got the wool and the circular needles but this project is on the back burner as I really hate circular needles.

My sewing room (formerly known as the dining room) is awash with 'stuff' - lots of works in progress and ideas waiting to come to fruition. 

And yes, the poor old quilt is still waiting to be finished, bless ....

How am I going to fit all this in?  I'm considering giving up cooking and housework - that should buy me some extra hours.  Now, if only I could do without sleep. 

 So, what to do?  What to do?

I know....

Ah, that's better. 

 Now for a spot of Kirsty's Homemade Home (please don't let there be too many new ideas on tonight to add to my list of things I absolutely must make)!

Wishing you all a tizzy-less week.


Addendum:  I am posting this the next morning as there was a photo uploading embago on (must have been some crucial point in the death and destruction that is Black Ops for the XBox) and then we had to interrupt Kirsty to work on Will's personal statement for uni applications.  A little disappointed with Kirsty the last couple of weeks except, I may have to go and buy some fabric fixer as I used to be the queen of stencilling in a former life and have loads of lovely stencils that could be used on fabric......

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Blimey O'Reilly....

... it's cold!  It's only mid November and we've had sleet, gales, fog, freezing fog and nitheringly cold nights and days - the cold soaking right into the bones.  Good job I've plenty of lovely blankets and cushions to snuggle up under/against.  At least my son's girlfriend appreciates my efforts:

I've been quite busy in the evenings with my wool stash but can't show anything until nearer THE TIME.  Went for a little bimble around Helmsley on Sunday with sister, Anne and bought a spiced plum candle - every time I light it Will goes 'mmmmm, smells like Christmas'.  I'm so thrilled that my boys love all things Christmassy as much as me.  We decided to have a Sunday off from the crafting although I did make us an apron each from all the throw and bunting scraps.  What do you think?  I feel festive just looking at it.

Anne just wants to know if Santa's going to bring her a waist for Christmas.  Me, I suspect that my waist is gone for good so I am dressing accordingly (am soooo loving the leggings/woolly tights and boots look at the moment.  Long may it last, although I think the elasticated waists (both mine and the leggings) may be responsible for an ever increasing waistline).  I dread the day I have to put my jeans back on!!

Thanks to Kirsty I now want to make a Kiss cross stitch cushion
 (although Anne and I both agreed that it seemed more like tapestry than cross stitch) - where am I going to find time to fit that in?

Hope you are keeping warm and well.


Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Naked trees and hearty stews...

The nights are drawing in and the weather has taken it all to heart - howling gales, torrential rain, black clouds scudding across glorious sunsets.  The trees are rapidly shedding their leaves and will most likely be completely naked by the end of the week.  I have to confess to rather liking the Weather - at least it is definite and leaves you in no doubt about what to wear: as much as possible!  I don't like driving home in the dark but there's something very comforting about closing the curtains and turning on the lamps, lighting candles and hunkering down.

  So what better way to spend a cold dark evening than with a choice of new wool?

I took a little trip to the wool shop looking for wool for making Christmas presents.  I came back with some more Mirasol Miski (top of the pile in the guise of a half finished scarf), some Debbie Bliss for fingerless mitts (bright pink), some Debbie Bliss silk (pink skein, for nothing in particular, just 'cos I liked it!), some beautiful Chilean Araucania hanks - camel and silk mix (purple, grey, green mix) and some 100% Merino (purple) - all for scarves.

I'm really enjoying my knitting but do like to mix it up with a bit of crochet, making some 9 round grannies with the leftovers and Sunday afternoons are currently devoted to sewing with my sister.  We had quite a family affair going on with Mum involved too.  More on that in a later post nearer the time of the grand reveal although some of our makes can already be found on Anne's website.  I don't think we'd make much on a piece rate but it's a lovely way to spend an afternoon.

No more photos today - youngest son had to go out at midnight to buy the latest X-Box game that has just come out and I don't think my nerves can face the possibility of an all out tizzy turn as my uploading interferes with his game!  Oh, the joys of parenting teenagers.

Hoping you are all keeping warm and well.