Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Organisation: Hair Station

Thanks very much for the lovely comments - I will share more on the crochet soon (I've not made much progress lately)

In the meantime, as part of my quest to become 'mega organised', I have set up a 'hair station' (that is incredibly difficult to photograph well!) on the inside of a cupboard door in the bedroom...

This cupboard used to hold the hot water tank, but we had central heating and a combi-boiler installed when we moved in last May (as there were just electric heaters in the house).  The Lumberjack turned it into a wardrobe a while ago, with Ikea hanging rails.  Now we've added the bits to the door.

(Let me again say - it is oddly difficult to get any decent photos of this... and the dim light doesn't help!)

The mirror was one of a pack of four mirror squares from Ikea - £6 for the four - which come with sticky pads to fix them.  I'm sure we'll find somewhere else for the rest of the mirrors, as we only needed the one for this.  I added washi tape to create a little border/frame on the mirror:

We attached two Ikea wire baskets to tidy away random hair bits, only £2 each...

(Maybe if I used some of those hair products more, I wouldn't look such a scruffy mess all the time!)

Luckily we were able to turn the switch inside the cupboard (for the old hot water tank) into a plug socket, so it's handy to be able to use the hairdryer there and keep it tucked away.

So, there you go, a bit of organisation!

I wanted the baskets low as I have some possible further ideas for the inside of that door... we'll see...

Wednesday, 22 January 2014


I have dipped into yet another project (should finish some of the ongoing items first really!)...

This has been inspired by something my friend Anna has made - but more on that another time!

Check out this amazing Amaryllis...

It lives on the TV unit, next to (you've guessed it...) the TV!  (Hence the shadow to the left.)

It was from Ikea a couple of weeks ago.  It shot up so quickly and now each stem has four flower heads - incredible!  (According to the card thingy in the pot they're supposed to be red flowers, but we're not complaining!)


I received more sources of inspiration and instruction at Christmas.  From my friend Anna this lovely book:

Sew Scandinavian - she's Swedish so obviously it had to be done!  She also made me that lovely heart beside it, with lavender in the centre - thanks again Anna!  Here is a glimpse at some of the gorgeous projects in the book...

Lots of prettiness!

My Mum and Dad gave me this book from my Christmas list...

There are some good ideas in this.  Some of it isn't really my style/taste, but some of it is and there is a lot of inspiration...

I love this idea of the balloon being in a different hoop!

This is very cute!  (I seem to be drawn to the toadstools in both books... I see toadstools in my future!)

Apologies for the dingy photos - decent light is a rarity this time of year.

Thanks for the great comments on my last post, much appreciated as always!  Puts a smile on my face!

Sunday, 19 January 2014

Crochet and Cross Stitch Phone Case

Well, I didn't get round to tackling that craft room (bad girl!).... but I've been working on a little craft project - a case for my new mobile phone.  My last phone had this homemade case, made of fabric and felt.  It's too small for my new phone, and I wanted to try a crochet one this time.

It's made from King Cole Bamboo Cotton, including the embroidery cherry design.  I really like the firm smoothness you get from that yarn.  I adapted the cherry design from this one.

I made it with single crochet stitches, crocheted in the round, with a button fastening on the back.

The loop is a row of chain stitches, created while crocheting the pink band at the top, so it is integral to the case, not attached afterwards.

During the course of making it, I may have munched may way through some of this delicious birthday rock...

My brother and sister-in-law bought it from Bruges for me, for my birthday.  You can see the happy birthday running through the rock - it's scrumptious!

As if I hadn't eaten enough lately, and even though Christmas is over... I felt the need to make some peppermint bark yesterday.  I'd hoped to make some over the Christmas period, but didn't get chance.  We still had some left over candy canes, so I turned them into this:

Why is it on the sofa?  I just wanted to get the pretty cushions in the background!

I used this recipe - so easy to make.  Although I needed some help from the lumberjack with smashing up the candy canes - he wasted no time in locating a rubber mallet and bashing the cr*p out of them!  Other than his enthusiasm over the smashing part, he was somewhat sceptical about the whole idea.  Comments such as: "so what tree is supposed to have bark that looks like this?" and "what a waste of four perfectly good bars of chocolate and some beautifully formed candy canes" (which he didn't seem so concerned about when he was armed with the mallet!)

It made a lot more than is shown, so that should keep me going for... oh... an hour or so?!

Sunday, 12 January 2014

2014 Goals

Thanks for all the lovely comments lately, and hi to new followers!

I've decided to set some 2014 goals...

(Yes, I got new washi tape for Christmas - thanks Mumsie!)

Let me just review last year's goals...

Buy a House
Become Mega Organised

I kept it down to three, and still only achieved one!  It was the best one, though... a house was bought!  That was ticked off on 17th May, and naturally involved some decluttering whilst preparing for the move.  Not that you'd know it to look at the junk in the house.  Therefore 'declutter' is being carried over to this year.  The same goes for 'become mega organised' as things have become less organised since moving!

Without further ado... this year's goals:

Declutter - using William Morris as a guide:  Have nothing in your house that you don't know to be useful or believe to be beautiful
Become Mega Organised
Decorate Kitchen, Craft Room, Spare Room
Make an Item of Clothing - something I actually wear in public
Cook Better Dinners - more variety, planned better, healthy (some of the time)
Don't Sweat the Small Stuff - worry less and be more chilled and laid-back
Escape the Rat Race - in a good way (not losing my job or dying!)

Ok, that last one is probably stretching it a bit.  I'm not sure what miracle could occur this year to enable that one.  (And it's probably not recommended to put a goal down that you have no idea how to achieve, in the hope that it will just happen on it's own while you pootle along in your day-to-day life!)  But hey, I've got nearly a year for inspiration to strike!

I'll let you know how I get on...

P.S.  I showed the Lumberjack the picture (above) of my diary on the craft room desk, saying "that looks nice doesn't it?"  He said "yes, but they can't see the rest of the room!"  (He has slight issues with the fact that you can't even really walk into the room - I tell him to just leave the door shut and keep out!)  Well... for your viewing pleasure, here's the reality:

Ooops... it's on my list to tidy up today!

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Cute Crochet Monkey

Long-term followers might remember (or maybe not, as it was two years ago!) that I made this pink monkey for myself.  It was around the time my nephew was born and I'd always had in my head that I must make a blue one for him.  I struggle to bring myself to make the same thing twice, though, so it's taken me all this time to do it.

I decided the time was right, as whenever he comes round he clocks the pink one and goes straight for it!  I felt he must have one of his own for his birthday this year.

I gave the monkey a top with a 'T' on it - my nephew's initial.  Whereas my pink one is happier in her birthday suit!  (I always thought of the pink one as a boy actually, but she seems like a girl in these pics)

A friend at last!

But wait... what's this?  He's climbed onto the dresser!

What a pair of monkeys!

I think they might have got into the Christmas sherry!

(Ok, I got a bit carried away taking pictures of the pair of them!!)

The pattern is a great free one from here.

I hope my nephew loves his as much as he seems to love mine!

Sunday, 5 January 2014

Crochet Tealight Holders

Happy New Year!

Thanks to you all for reading my blog during the past year, and the lovely comments you've taken the time to leave - why is it so exciting to get comments on your blog?!  I love it.

Here are handmade Christmas presents for my sister-in-law (the pomegranate one) and the Lumberjack's sister (the grey one).  I thought it would be nice to include a handmade gift for them both!

I'd saved the glass holders from previous candles I'd had, and the pattern for the crochet is an excellent one, from here.  I'm so pleased with how they turned out!

I have used the pattern before a couple of years ago when I made my white one, seen below.  For some reason I didn't bother with the scalloped edging on mine - can't remember why... (probably too lazy).

And trying out the grey one...

There is also a birthday present that I made my nephew that I can't wait to show you - so watch this space!

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