Tuesday, 31 December 2013


This year I have...

Had adventures...

(I have read 52 novels again this year! I may have cheated and only read very thin books during December though!  My favourites this year were Maddaddam by Margaret Atwood, Ready Player One by Ernest Cline and lots of vampire-y ones by Richelle Mead)

This year has been really lovely and I feel so lucky.  I became an Auntie.  I met a lovely, lovely boy.  I saw McFly and Eddi Reader making music I love.  I saw Phantom of the Opera, The Importance of being Earnest and Dracula at the theatre.  I had exciting trips to Powis Castle, Attingham Park, Aberystwyth, the Library of Birmingham, the Bronte sisters house, Lancashire, Yorkshire and lots of other exciting places too.  I hope you have all had a lovely year too.

Thank you all so much for visiting, commenting and being my friends, it means a lot.

I am looking forward to the next year already, I have trips planned to see David Tennant (swoon) in Richard II in January, Wicked in August, tickets paid for to go to Brazil to see my favourite friend and I will be thinking of something special to do for my 30th birthday (eek!).  I hope 2014 will be very good to you!  Happy new year!

Monday, 30 December 2013

Things I Loved This Month...December 2013...

This month I've loved...

* skyping * new fairy lights * falafel * being bought flowers, pink stripy flowers * being given a biiig bag of wool a friend was clearing out * warm house * watching While you Were Sleeping, the Hobbit, Fred Claus, Marie Antoinette and The Polar Express  * charity shopping * curry shaped like a star * my lovely niece, now 5 months old, she is soo tall, loves standing up (with help!) and bouncing and blowing raspberries and is very dribbly - we're waiting for teeth to appear! * advent calendars - vegan chocolate and Doctor Who * light up bunny lamp * Christmas sing along * Wetherspoon chips * 6am hash browns in bed * quizzes at work * reindeer candy canes * new vampire books * no work for nearly 2 weeks! * Christmas!!!!! sleepover at mums, stocking, dinner at my bros, choccy hedgehog cake, lovely presents, boxing day sales shopping, crackers with wind up snails and cute whimsies, second Christmas with my boy, Indian Christmas dinner and lovely presents* 

Hope you've had lovely Decembers too!

Sunday, 29 December 2013

Christmas Crochet...Snowflakes, Cowl, Hand Warmers and Elf Baby Hat...

I started off being really organised with my Christmas crochet and began work in November.  However, I still found myself madly crocheting on Christmas eve! Anyway, here's what I made...

I made a couple of cotton crochet snowflakes using the lovely, easy, free pattern on Attic 24, for the ladies I do Rainbow Guides with.

I made a crochet cowl for my mum, using this free crochet pattern.  I did it in turquoises and blues to match with her new teal coat.

My brother, sister in law and got crochet hand warmers, I used this free hand warmer pattern I found on Ravelry.  I used a big hook and 2 strands of wool held together, so they worked up really quickly and are thick and warm.

Finally, I made an elf hat for my little niece, she is 5 months old now.  I used this free pattern for an elf hat, but made it using DK and a 4mm hook, crocheted in a spiral rather than in rows, and used htr (uk) instead of dc (usa) - so it's a loose interpretation!  I wound the end of the hat into a spiral and sewed it together (you can see that in the second photo, I finished this hat at mums house on Christmas eve!) instead of using a pompom.  I think it turned out pretty cute.  I used some yarn called 'James C. Brett Baby Marble', which is the only yarn I actually bought for all these projects, the rest was from my stash!

Phew!  Did you make any Christmas gifts this year?

Saturday, 28 December 2013

Christmas Cards...

I always make my own Christmas cards, although I was a little late this year, posted them on Christmas Eve and crossed my fingers!  

I kept it simple this year, just card blanks with what are supposed to be paper chains stuck on.  The paper chains are from an Usbourne book called Decorations to Cut, Fold and Stick.  I just cut out along the lines then stuck them to my cards.  I also decorated the envelopes, 'cos I was feeling fancy!

I usually do something a little more elaborate, but I decided to be kind to myself this year, I have been super busy so needed something quick and easy.

My mum got this special creation, I made it at Rainbows!  Lucky her!

Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Christmas Jewellery...Snowmen, Snowflakes, Bells, Beads and Trees...

I decided to make some Christmas Jewellery this year, as I didn't really have any and I got loads of lovely beads in my Crafty Creatives Christmas box.  It's nice to have Christmassy jewellery to wear to work in the run up to Christmas too!

This is what I've been up to...

These Christmas tree pendants are made from lovely stone tree beads, with a long end-pin threaded with seed beads then hooked into a loop at the top.  I think they're really pretty, which is why I made myself two!  (I have one necklace that I like to wear with a different pendant on each day, which is why you can see the same silver necklace in each photo!)

The lovely blue Christmas bells cabochon came in CC Christmas box and I bought the bail on ebay, then glued them together, easy peasy!

These snowflake earrings were easy too, just slipped the snowflake charms onto earring wires.

There is a new bead shop in my little town, it tempts me with it's shinys!  I bought the glass snowman beads for something like £3 for 5, then threaded them onto head pins and onto earring wires and a big jump ring to make earrings and a pendant.

I shall be suitably bedecked in shiny Christmassyness for tomorrow!

Have you done any Christmas crafting?  I crocheted a lot of presents too, I will show you after Christmas!

Monday, 23 December 2013

Celebrating Christmas...

Oh I love Christmas.  I have been watching Christmas films, listening to Christmas music, wearing Christmas socks, painting my toenails red and green and all manner of other Christmassy activities.  But mostly I have been enjoying being at home, surrounded by my cosy, Christmassy things...

These are some of my favourite baubles and tree decorations.  My tree was a bit sparse last year and I only had purple and silver tinsel (see photo below, I had only just moved in this time last year!)...

I'm much happier with my red and green and silver and gold, tinselly, baubley, candy caney tree this year!

Clockwise from top left - a little bald fairy (she's called ally pecia) I sewed years ago, a flying pig and cute little baubles I bought new this year, a retro santa bauble and a robin off my mum, you can just see a bear sitting on a drum in this one that's from my childhood and a pink reindeer which was a present from mum too, this next one is from the German Christmas Market in Birmingham that I went to a few weeks ago, felt snowflake from a lovely blog swap last year, felt reindeer from a cute little shop in Machynlleth on my birthday, this little wooden santa is very special, he came from a party given by my best friend when we were little, I wasn't friends with her really at the time, we went to the same school and lived near each other but didn't really mix, I remember being confused about being invited, even though we still didn't really make friends for a couple of years after that, little wooden santa reminds me of her.  In the centre is my new 99p pink tinsel star! 

I love having a tree full of special ornaments!

I put my tree up on the 24th November, but I was quite restrained with the rest of my Christmas knick-knacks and candles, they only went out last weekend.

I made this pine cone Christmas tree at Rainbows and the glass Christmas octopus is from the German Christmas Market.

I took this photo of my Christmas countdown a while ago!

I even have some sticky window things on my kitchen window to brighten up my view of a wall! 

I hope you are all ready for Father Christmas, and that you all have a very Merry Christmas!

Sunday, 8 December 2013

Easy Green Things to do This Month...December 2013...

Here's this month's list of easy green and eco friendly actions...

Sign Greenpeace's petition to save Santa's home (the Arctic!).

Get involved with Oxfam's campaign to ask big brands to stop using sugar grown on land from 'land grabs'.

Use CPRE's online form to write to Owen Paterson, Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, and have a say in the drafting of plans to introduce charges for plastic bags in shops in England.

Ask your MP to stop the badger cull, using the RSPCA's online form.

If you have any ideas to be added to this months list, then let me know in the comments section and if I like it, I'll add it!  And feel free to share any of this info (or the whole post) wherever and with whoever you like! 

Thursday, 5 December 2013

Things I Loved This Month...November...

This month I've loved....

* Curry * trip to Birmingham, eating mushroom fajitas in Las Igunanas and seeing Eddi Reader, who was sooooooo good and is one of my favourites and I was on the front row, directly in front of her!!! * Skyping with my Brazil friend * sunshine * having my breakfast made for me * having a cooked breakfast made for me (spoiled!) * watching Iron Man 3, Pushing Up Dasies, Hairspray, Made in Chelsea, The Paradise * My little neice, now nearly 4 months old, she can sit up by herself, talks in her own language and I've still not changed her nappy! hurrah! * Making donkey masks, glittery Christmas cards and Christmas cakes at Rainbows * sparkly stars * remembrance day parade, I've never done it before, it's a nice thing to do and  my 5-7 year old Rainbow Guides were better behaved than some of the older girls (proud!) * tidy flat * chocolate reindeer * lovely work friends * Second trip to Birmingham, to the German Christmas market (forgot my camera though!), I ate delicious fried German mushrooms and potatoes, a pretzel, an onion bahji wrap and balti chips, yum!  Bought some pretty sparklies, popped into the war memorial, which is special and beautiful, and spent a couple of hours in Birmingham Art Gallery and Museum, specially liked the Pre-Raphaelite art *  Mum picking me up from work and making my tea * meeting a new vegan friend! * Crafty Creatives boxes in the post, sooo exciting! * 50th ANNIVERSARY DOCTOR WHO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! * Putting my Christmas tree up (I couldn't wait any more!) * crochet magazines * pay day * Platty the platypus * 

I feel really lucky to have had such a lovely month, especially as it started with me finding out on the 1st of November that one of the charities I help with is closing due to lack of funding and everyone there has been made redundant, a friend at work is relocating to another branch and my gas and leccy supplier had been illegally switched to a different company and having to deal with lots of grown-up-osity to get it switched back!  So yeah, lots of good stuff after that! Yey! 

Hope you all had happy Novembers too!?

Thursday, 21 November 2013

The View from My Window...Summer 2013...

Bit late for this, as it's almost winter now, but these are some photos shot from my windows from this summer...



Sunday, 17 November 2013

Charity Shop Treasure...Candle, Retro Wallpaper and Fabric, Plant Pots and Owl Spoon Rest...

The charity shop gods have been good to me recently...here's my haul...

Little elephant rose scented candle, 50p

Retro black and white wallpaper roll - £1

Funky vintage polyester fabric...75p

Blue rose plant pot...50p White Glass Bowl (says Kenwood on the bottom so I guess it was once part of a mixer, but I'm using it as a plant pot)...50p

Owl spoon rest...50p (I think!).

Not too bad!  Have you found anything magical lurking in a second hand shop recently?

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Easy, Cheap Vegan Meal Ideas...Garbanzos con Espinacas, Balsamic Vinegar Potato Wedges, Gnocchi and Tomato Sauce...

Here are some more yummy, easy vegan recipe ideas...

Garbanzos con espinacas (chick peas with spinach) is something I order every time when I go out for Tapas, so I thought it was probably time I learned to make it myself.  I looked at loads of recipes online (lots pinned here), but made it up as I went along in the kitchen.  Fry some cumin seeds in a little oil until toasted, add canned chick peas (half a can per person) and fry for a while.  Crumble half a stock cube over and add a little water, fry for a while longer.  Add a large handful of spinach (one handful per person) and cook until wilted.  That's it, all done!  I had this for my lunch, so I just had it on it's own with a few nuts and grapes, but it's nice for dinner too with a few other tapas (we like garlic mushrooms and patatas bravas).

These are sea salt and balsamic vinegar potato and red onion wedges.  Slice your potatoes and onions into wedges, shake them about in a roasting tin with a little oil, balsamic vinegar, sea salt and a couple of crushed garlic cloves.  Roast in the oven until cooked.  They are amazing.  Served here with a Morrisons own brand vegetable quarter pounder.

This one is super easy, shop bought gnocchi (I like Asda's own brand), fried in some olive oil with a few dried herbs chucked in, and tomato sauce, made from passatta, garlic, basil and onion cooked together. Yum!

What's your favourite easy, veggie meal?

Monday, 11 November 2013

Easy Green Things to do This Month...November 2013...

Here's this month's list of easy green and eco friendly actions...

Sign Friends of the Earth's petition to ask for better conditions for workers and better ecological practices in the production of tea. 

Russia are still holding 30 Greenpeace activists, use this online form to ask the Russian Ambassador in London to free them.

November is World Vegan Month, why not give veganism a try, or maybe try a Meat Free Monday if that's a step too far for you!  There are lots of vegan meal ideas on my blog!

November 23rd is Buy Nothing Day, a stance against consumerism and capitalism, why not join in?

If you have any ideas to be added to this months list, then let me know in the comments section and if I like it, I'll add it!  And feel free to share any of this info (or the whole post) wherever and with whoever you like!