Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Catch Up

Hello!  So, what have I been up to the last few days?!

Well, on Saturday I had the girlie afternoon and evening - and we ended up having a bit of a mini spa afternoon that a friend organised at the last minute.  Somehow we got to use the pool/sauna/steamroom facilities for free at a nearby hotel.  I find spa things a bit weird, actually.  I enjoy the girlie chatting - but I feel a bit odd wandering around in a robe looking dishevelled and slightly mental - it all seems a bit bizarre to me!  (I'm not one of those girls who look all serene and stunning as they casually stroll around...!)

Definitely NOT how I look in a robe! :o)

I was good and didn't drink, in preparation for the Race for Life on Sunday!  It was soooo HOT!!  I was sweating just standing waiting to start the race!  I managed to do it in 32 minutes 28 seconds, though - which I was pleased with - it was good for me!  I hate running, and I woke up in the morning wondering why on earth I'd agreed to do it, but it did feel good when it was all over and I was glad I'd done it!

Race for Lifers!  (Random image found on Google - I didn't bring a camera!)

I also made a love birds anniversary card for my brother and sister-in-law who have been married 3 years today!  Happy Anniversary guys!!!

Well, I think that is all the news for now!  Hope things are good for all of you!  :o)

Saturday, 25 June 2011

Free Felt Swatch Card!

Thanks to you all for the lovely messages on my last couple of posts.  I'm actually feeling quite excited about what might be awaiting me... a whole new chapter in my life!  I might as well embrace all these changes in my life!!

The other day I was one of the first five to comment on a post, so won a free felt swatch card from Sew Sweet, which arrived yesterday!

So, next time my felt stash is low, I will be able to see exactly what colours to order!  It can be difficult online to see what the colours are like in 'real life'.

And... a little surprise that I wasn't expecting... a pack of buttons were included!

Thank you so much Emma - that was a lovely little treat to receive!  I'm sure I will put these to good use...

(Sorry if the photos are a bit dingy - the sun is refusing to shine!  Although, apparently tomorrow is supposed to be a scorcher... we shall see!)

I'm off now for a girlie lunch/afternoon/evening with some friends.  I'm trying to decide whether to drink or drive!  I've got the race for life tomorrow morning, so the sensible thing would be no drinking!!!

If anyone is interested in sponsoring me, the link to my group's sponsor page is:  Do It In Pink.  Don't worry if you don't want to, though - I get inundated with sponsorship requests, and you can't sponsor everyone!!

Everything is ready for my giveaway - I just need 4 more followers!  Things have slowed up lately on the follower front... but who knows...

Bye for now!

Thursday, 23 June 2011

More Bad News...!

Well... what can I say - I found out this morning that I'm going to be losing my job!  The site where I work is closing, and we're all going to be made redundant.  There will be a consultancy period for a few months - so I won't find out when my last day is until October.  Isn't that just kick-you-in-the-crotch, spit-on-your-neck fantastic?!

Oh well, life goes on - no point being miserable.  This year is definitely a year of change for me!  (Let's just hope that change doesn't involve me ending up living in a cardboard box...!)  ;o)

Maybe I should make more effort to make things to sell in my Folksy Shop!  I kind of drifted away from the idea of selling, and was just enjoying crafting and blogging about it.

Currently for sale in my Folksy Shop

Maybe I should put my energies into researching and making things that people would want to buy!  Although, I still wouldn't be able to make a living from it - so maybe I should focus on getting my CV up to date!!

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Buttons and Brooch

Well, I've been busy trying to get my flat a bit tidier the last couple of evenings... tomorrow it will have been a month since The Breakup and I've been living in a bit of hovel since then, I have to admit!  Now it's time to get a grip!  We're still in the process of emptying the flat of Rohan's things - slowly but surely.  Soon I will be back on track, I'm sure.

In the meantime, I've been prioritising craft over housework!  I've got a couple of other bits finished (well, kind of finished!) for the 50 followers giveaway!

This is a set of fabric covered buttons that I have made, and a crocheted brooch with coordinating button.  (I showed you a glimpse of the brooch the other day!)  I still need to sew the brooch pin on the back, actually - I really hate doing that for some reason!

Hope all is well in your worlds...

Sunday, 19 June 2011

Lavender Heart

I had a lovely day in London yesterday with a couple of my friends who I've known since we were at school.  It was a fun day involving lots of eating, drinking, chatting and catching up!

I got back fairly late, so was hoping for a nice lie-in this morning... but noooo, of course I wake up at the crack of dawn and can't get back to sleep!

So... I got up and started working on a little something for my 50 followers giveaway!  Here it is:

(Yep... I've been playing around with adding text in Picnik!)  Excuse the slightly dingy photo - getting any decent sunlight lately is tricky...

It's a lavender filled felt heart, embellished with a fabric flower, buttons and pearly pink beads.

I hope you like it, as it will be part of the 50 followers giveaway!  Only 8 followers to go - I can't believe how quickly the followers have grown in the last few days - welcome and thank you to you all!  :o)

Well, despite my early wake-up this morning, it is now 12.40 and I'm still in my pajamas and am in fact typing this in bed!  "Lazy!" I hear you cry!  Hold on, I can't be that lazy if I created that most beautiful (bigging myself up!) lavender heart this morning!  Hehe... I did actually get up and cut out all the pieces etc, then toddled back to bed to sew it.  The life of a lonely spinster woman... sewing is the most exciting activity that goes on in my bed!!!  ;o)

Right... I guess I'd better go and get showered and dressed!  I hope you're all having lovely weekends and Father's Days.  We celebrated Father's Day with my dad a week early, as my brother and sister-in-law are away this weekend, and we like to all get together for these things.

Bye for now...

Friday, 17 June 2011


I had a great night last night - it was a bit of a late one, so tonight is definitely a night for slobbing on the sofa with a DVD!

But first... I thought I'd show a bit of progress on my African Flower runner... not much progress, but a bit:

But I've been too impatient and stopped sewing the ends in as I go:

Back of runner

In case any one is interested in the yarn I've been using, it's King Cole Bamboo Cotton.  It's 50% bamboo 50% cotton.  A bit more fancy than my usual synthetic yarn - I must have been feeling extravagant that day!

It does split quite a bit while working with it, but I like the feel and look of it.


Before I go... for those of you who wanted to be able to check the number of subscribers you have in Google Reader, this is how I did it (there is probably another simpler way, but I know hardly anything about Google Reader, so this is the only way I know how!)

Go to Google Reader and log in using your Google Account.

Type the name of your blog and search, as below:

You should get a list of your posts, click on the blog name (rather than the post name) as circled in red below:

You should then get presented with something like the picture below which shows how many subscribers there are:

This is probably a long-winded way of doing it... but that's all I know!  :o)

Thursday, 16 June 2011

Thank You and Swaps!

"Hi" and "Thank you!" to the new followers!  I got home from the meal last night (delicious Thai food!), and couldn't resist logging into Blogger before I went to bed - I'm so addicted!  I was very excited to see the new followers, and had to update my counter then and there... it couldn't possibly have waited until today!  (I've now had to update it for some new followers today - I am enjoying my little counter!)

I also discovered, thanks to the lovely Sarah at paper-and-string, that I have 31 subscribers in Google Reader.  I didn't even know Google Reader existed, I have to admit!  Who on earth knew??!!  (Well, clearly Sarah and all the people subscribing through there!)  So, thank you to all those subscribers too!  It was very exciting news to realise that even more people than I thought were reading my blog!

I just thought I'd let you all know about a couple of swaps going on at the moment... I haven't decided whether to join in yet or not, as I'm currently pressuring myself to make things for my giveaway!  But for those of you who might be interested in taking part we have...

LaaLaa's Magic Ball Swap organised by Hookin' with LaaLaa

Kandi's Little Happiness Fabric Swap organised by Kandipandi's Pad 

Go and check them both out, as they seem like fun swaps!

Well, I'm actually off out again for a meal and drinks with people from work.  Get me, the social butterfly!  Tonight it is steak or curry night at Wetherspoons.  I was told it was going to be steak night, but turns out it might be curry night... I'd been building up to steak, so it's taking some adjusting!!  I think people are just trying to make sure I eat properly, since The Breakup!  Or maybe it's just that no gathering is complete without my winning personality!  Yeah, that must be it...!!  ;o)

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Giveaway Countdown...

I've created a little counter, to count me down until I reach 50 followers and can do my giveaway!  18 to go...

I've put a smaller version in my sidebar... I think it is going to be slow moving, but you never know... I may get there eventually!

Yesterday I started work on a little something to include in the giveaway:

It's not finished yet (but there is no rush!!).

I'd better go and get ready... I'm off out to dinner in a bit, for a friend's birthday... mmm I really fancy a nice meal out!

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Kreativ Blogger Award Presentation

I'm not sure how many bloggers I'm supposed to give this award to... but I have picked two.  (Because that's what Becky did!)  :o)  Thanks again Becky for this award!

1.  Rhi at Pretty Petal Handmade.  Rhi makes some really pretty things.  She does a lot of lovely felt work - banners and pretty embellishments.  She has been blogging around the same length of time as me, so go over and check out her blog!

2.  Jenny at Jenny Arnott Textiles.  Jenny makes the most gorgeous embroidered textiles and accessories, using machine embroidery and applique.  Everything she makes is lovely!  She has also recently started crocheting, and I'm very excited about following her progress, and seeing the things she'll make!

Go and have a look at their lovely blogs!  :o)

Just to add some pictures to the post... here are some pictures of flowers that I took at the BBQ on Saturday.  If you would like to know what they are... the answer is... flowers!!  (I'm just so knowledgable!  A couple of them look like roses...)

Bye for now...

Monday, 13 June 2011

Baby Blanket Idea

Thanks to you all for the lovely comments on my last post!  I'm glad you enjoyed finding out more about little old me!  :o)

I've been looking into patterns I could use for a baby blanket for my little niece/nephew, and I really like this one below:

My sister-in-law is keen too, and my brother seemed as interested as you could reasonably expect from a bloke...!

The pattern is here.

They are planning to find out the sex of the baby, so I'm going to wait until then and choose colours depending on what they are having!  I'm impatient, I want to start now!!!

Sunday, 12 June 2011

I've won an award!

Very exciting news for me - my blog has been awarded the Kreativ Blogger Award by the lovely Becky from The Fluff Pot!  Thank you so much Becky!  Becky has a great blog, so if you don't already follow, go over and check it out!  (She's very nice too!)

I think that I am supposed to tell you 10 things about myself... which is rather tricky actually!

1.  My name is Maria and I'm 31 years old (wow... fascinating information I'm dishing out now...!)

2.  Very exciting news in my family at the moment is that my brother (my only sibling) and sister-in-law are expecting their first baby - and it's due on Christmas Day!!  They've just had the 12 week scan, so we are finally able to announce the news to everyone!  I'm so excited for them... and for me, as I will be an Aunt for the first time!!  I can't wait to start crocheting a baby blanket for the new baby!!!  I am going to be the mad old spinster Aunt for this poor baby!!!

Me - mad old spinster aunt!

3.  My lifelong dream is to write a book.  I would love to be an author of adult fiction, but can never think of a good enough idea, so I do nothing!  Although, a friend from work has recently lent me a book on generating ideas for writing... so who knows!  I've just remembered writing one story when I was about 10 (which I was aiming to get published of course!) about a little family of hedgehogs, who were in danger from a deranged killer hedgehog, who I had named after my teacher who I hated!!!  (What a delightful child!)  I actually loved nearly all of my teachers through primary school... it was just this one who was nasty!

4.  I have such a sweet tooth - I can never get enough chocolate and cake!  At work they say I'm like a meerkat, as whenever anyone mentions chocolate or cake anywhere in the office (or even sometimes if I hear the sound of a wrapper!) my head pops up over the partition to find the source of possible yumminess!

5.  When it comes to alcohol, I have the tastes of a teenager!  I never progressed to enjoying beer or wine - so my drink of choice tends to be a blue WKD - I'm such a sophisticated lady!!  Of course, when I'm being "classy" I'll have an Archers and lemonade or an Amaretto and coke - anything sweet basically!!  (Such a child!)

6.  I love monkeys... well, what's not to love?!

7.  My music taste is definitely on the cheesy side!  One of my favourite songs to enjoy at a party is "500 Miles" by the Proclaimers!  I love songs like "I'm in the Mood for Dancing" by the Nolans, "I Am the One and Only" by Chesney Hawkes, "Dancing Queen" by Abba... I think you get the idea!!  Although, I still like what I think of as the cooler stuff (to me, anyway!), like "All Summer Long" by Kid Rock and "Rock Star" by Nickelback.

8.  Despite my hatred of running, I'm doing the Race for Life in two weeks (I know, I told you that yesterday... but I'm running out of things to say!)

9.  I am planning a 50 followers giveaway - I went out this morning to buy the cute apple tin from Tiger... so it is ready and waiting for me to make some bits to go with it.  All in anticipation of one day reaching that 50 follower milestone...

10.  I am going to copy Becky's idea, and show you a picture of myself as my number 10.  (Well, actually three photos, because once I started I couldn't stop!)

Me at Cheddar Gorge in April
Me doing something weird last summer in the park!
Me with my lovely sister-in-law (now pregnant!)

Well, that's enough boring information for anyone to handle!!!

I will have a think about who to nominate, and let you know on another post!

Bye for now...

Saturday, 11 June 2011

My First Crochet Project - Granny Square Cushion

Firstly, I've only gone and done a 5km run this morning!!!  It's a free organised thing called Park Run, which is held at the park right near my flat.  I'm doing the Race for Life in two weeks (got talked into doing it with a group of girls from work), and had yet to start training, so just went for it!  Can't believe I did it - I LOATHE running!!  I admit that I walked quite a bit of it - it was just too painful!  But at least I did it.  (It was most out of character for me... I'm more of an eater than an exerciser!!)

Well, I thought I would share with you my first ever crochet project.  It is a granny square cushion that I made a couple of years ago I think.

I made it with 100% cotton.  It actually looks better and less wonky in real life!

It was on my bed, but I redecorated the bedroom last November and it didn't match anymore, so it's been in a bag in the airing cupboard, waiting until one day when I live in somewhere with more rooms than my one bedroom flat - where there might be a home for it!  Unfortunately it looks as though the white cotton has gone a bit yellowed being in there :o(  Maybe if I wash it, it will look whiter.

Back of cushion

Again, it looks better in real life!

Right - better get ready - I'm off to my sister-in-law's sister's birthday BBQ!  Time to eat and drink lots to make up for that awful shock to my system doing that run this morning!!  ;o)

Have a lovely day!

Friday, 10 June 2011

Skulls and a Possible Upcoming Giveaway!

It is my sister-in-law's younger sister's birthday tomorrow - so we're all having a birthday BBQ (weather permitting!).

She is a bit of a fan of skulls (for some reason!) so I have made her this skull card:

Even though skulls really aren't my thing, I actually quite like it!  I went a bit mad with the pink adhesive mini gems!

And to go along with her present, a little keyring/bag charm sort of thing:

I bought the skull charm off ebay, then just added the beads and keyring hoop.

Just a little something extra - I hope she likes it!

A bit different from the usual things I make!!!

Oh, and I'm thinking of buying one of those apple tins from Tiger that I showed you yesterday - and including it in a giveaway, along with some handmade bits!!!  I felt sorry for those of you without a Tiger near you, so thought this might be a good idea!  I hope they've got some left.

I am planning the giveaway for when I have 50 followers... so it may be some time (or never!!)  Don't hold your breath!  :o)

Thursday, 9 June 2011


Well, here is an extra little post from me since my post two hours ago, as no-one knew what I was talking about when I mentioned Tiger!

It is a funny shop which has all sorts of random things in it - from beads and tissue paper, to herbs and spices.  You never know what you'll find each time you visit!

Here is the website, but unfortunately you can't buy online.  Here is a link to the apple goodies.

Tins - £1 each

But now I feel bad for mentioning it as it seems that no-one has a store near them, so can't buy the fun things!  :o(

Here is the store locator - just in case!

Well, at least you now know what I am talking about...

    Tiger-tastic Apple Tin!

    Ok... this isn't something I've made, but a tin I've bought from Tiger for the bargain price of £1!  Thanks to my friend Anna for telling me about them!

    How cute?!

    Excuse the reflection of the camera in the close-up of the apple!

    They've got loads in this range - square and round tins in different sizes in pink, orange or green.  There are trays, white ceramic bowls, glasses, oven gloves... all sorts, all with this cute apple design!

    I'm going to use this tin for storing some of my buttons... perfect!

    Tuesday, 7 June 2011

    Flower Birthday Cards

    Just a quick hi to the new followers from the last week or so!  Welcome!  :o)

    Not a lot to say today... but here is a picture of a couple of birthday cards I've made.  They are for two friends who don't know each other, so I cheated a bit and made virtually the same card twice... lazy!

    They haven't actually got them yet, but I don't think they read my blog, so should be ok hopefully!

    Monday, 6 June 2011

    Slow Progress

    The African Flower runner is progressing slowly... I've not got very far!  I've been a bit busy doing other things, including making a few cards, which I'll show on here once they have been received.

    I'm liking it to so far, but definitely need to speed up!  Although I am sewing them together, and sewing the ends in, as I go... so that saves time later I guess!

    I have also bought a new canvas picture for the living room, now that I'm adding more girlie touches to the place:

    Just need to get it on the wall now!

    Sunday, 5 June 2011

    Happy Picture!

    Sorry I've been quiet for a few days - just been keeping myself busy, doing this and that, but not much time for crafting.  I went to see the stand-up comedian Jason Manford last night, which was a good laugh!

    Well... this morning I have got my crafting on, and have made this picture:

    I tried to get some light on the picture, but not glare, or a reflection of me... so it was a bit tricky!  I think you get the idea, though.

    I bought the frame yesterday on a shopping trip with my lovely sister-in-law, hoping that I'd be able to create the idea in my head!  The frame with mount was just from Wilkinsons and I made the picture in Publisher, printed onto white card.  Easy!  It's going to hang in my hall and bring positive vibes!

    I have to confess that this wasn't my idea at all.  I found these lovely lino-print pictures on Folksy and Etsy, and thought I would create my own!  I adapted it a bit - added the 'dance' (I love to dance!) - and did my own printed version.  So I can't really claim any credit at all!!!!  (Bit shameful really!)  Obviously, I'm not selling these, and it is just for me - I'm not that shameful!

    Bye for now...

    Wednesday, 1 June 2011

    African Flower Runner

    I'm back on the African Flowers!  I'm making a runner out of African Flowers joined together.

    I've stopped at three at the moment, because I need to figure out the exact pattern of the runner - where each colour combination will go.  I'm not very good at doing random patterns - I need to have a plan, system and formula!!!

    [EDITED TO ADD: Check out the finished African Flower item here!]

    Oh, check out the button on my sidebar for Kandipandi's giveaway!  Gorgeous giveaway gifts!!  :o)  - EXPIRED

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