Saturday, 26 July 2008

Lovely weekend :)

Well, thank goodness it's the weekend! Work has been rather hectic this week so I'm relieved it is Saturday :) I have a very busy weekend planned but it is all fun things so I can't wait!

First up I have a concert with band this afternoon and then this evening Mr P and me are going on a date :) The local council near us is putting on a couple of big concerts in the park and so tonight we're going to "Proms in the Park" which looks like it could be pretty cool.

Tomorrow the local farmer's market is on so we're going to get up early (oh yes we are!) and head off to stock up on goodies before going to the second concert in the park which is going to be local bands and Alexander O'Neal. There's also going to be a craft fair and a funfair so it looks like it could be a pretty fun day. Keep your fingers crossed for the weather for us!

I'll leave you with a video of Alexander O'Neal - this song always reminds me of family parties when I was younger so it brings back good memories :)

Tuesday, 22 July 2008

I saw this over at Sweet Jessie's site and thought it seemed like fun. You have to answer these questions in just one word which I think will be a challenge for me as I'm a bit of a Little Miss Chatterbox!

One Word Meme
1. Where is your cell phone? table
2. Your significant other? Mr P
3. Your hair? wild
4. Your daughter? future
5. Your son? ditto
6. Your favorite thing? books
7. Your dream last night? christmassy
8. Your favorite drink? dandelion and burdock
9. Your goal? happiness
10. The room you’re in? living room
11. Your church? friendly
12. Your fear? flying
13. Where do you want to be in 6 years? here
14. Where were you last night? class
15. What you’re not? quiet
16. Muffins? rolls
17. One of your wish list items? house
18. Where you grew up? Manchester
19. The last thing you did? phone
20. What are you wearing? skirt
21. Your TV? on
22. Your pets? none
23. Your computer? lifeline
24. Your life? fabulous
25. Your mood? tired
26. Missing someone? yes
27. Your car? focus
28. Something you’re not wearing? socks
29. Favorite store? Borders
30. Your summer? rainy
31. Like(love) someone? absolutely
32. Your favorite color? pink
33. Last time you laughed? today
34. Last time you cried? Sunday
35. Who will repost this? you?

As you can see, I didn't quite manage the whole one word thing but I tried! It'd be interesting for other people to play along so I can see if you're able to be more concise than I am!!!

Monday, 21 July 2008

A pleasant surprise at the supermarket :)

It's not often you'll hear me say that (especially the way my grocery bill keeps rising) but as me and Mr P were meandering around the aisles today he spotted something that somehow had escaped my notice...... Cath Kidston has designed some reuseable shopping bags for Tesco :)

I can't believe I didn't see these (must have been wandering around in my own little world) but as soon as I had regained my wits I snatched this one up quickly as there were only a couple of them left. Obviously the catalogues and magazines I keep shoving under Mr P's nose are having an effect :)
Apparently there is a spotty one too but they didn't have that one (I'll be keeping an eye out for it though!) Suddenly grocery shopping has taken on a whole new appeal...

Sunday, 20 July 2008

Crochet and a bit of inspiration

I'm still not feeling very well so this is where I have spent a lot of my day...

....curled up on the sofa with comfy quilts and cushions while attempting to teach myself how to crochet properly. I bought this book a couple of years ago and saw a pattern for a bag in here which I really liked but try as I might, I couldn't get my head around the instuctions :( Fast forward a couple of years and everywhere I look in blogland, such as here, here and here, everyone is 'hooking' like mad and producing the most wonderful throws and blankets. After suffering from a serious case of crochet envy, I could feel my fingers itching to take up a hook and give it another go so I bought myself "The Happy Hooker" and oh my goodness that book is fabulous! I must admit, some of the projects are not quite my "thing" but the instructions are so clear and easy to understand (once I'd got my head around the different terminology - why do British and US terms have to be different?!?)

Anyway, over the last few weeks I have been coveting the blankets I have been seeing and have grand plans to make myself one of my own. However, before I rushed out and spent pots of money on lots of lovely, soft, snuggly yarns, I thought it would be prudent to hone my newfound skills on something smaller and, crucially, something I already had yarn for!!!

With this in mind, I went back to the bag pattern I had very first attempted to do more than 2 years ago and now I actually have more of an idea what I am doing, I have made good progress with it this afternoon :)

Shush, don't mention it to Mr P but I have just won an auction on Ebay for a mixed lot of 48 different balls of yarn - already my crocheting is turning into a bit of an obsession... However, as these haven't started winging their way to me, I've had to make do with itchy, scratchy, acrylic yarn. Please tell me that other yarns are nicer to crochet with because after a while this one hurt my fingers!

The pattern uses 18 of these squares and I have completed all my pink ones this afternoon and made a start on 3 more squares. I have to say, crochet is one of the most relaxing things in the world; I have spent a lovely afternoon snuggled under my quilt, hook in hand, listening to podcasts from CraftSanity: Alicia Paulson from Posy Gets Cozy and Amy Karol from Angry Chicken and very inspiring they were too! Mr P said that my crocheting was "very ratter-esque" but he was watching the golf at the time (quite possibly the most boring 'sport' in the world. Ever. Officially) so I am going to discount his opinion on this matter ;)

Just 9 and a bit more squares more to go and then I need to make the handles and crochet round the top. I'll try and do a bit more tonight but probably won't get chance to do much more during the week as I'll be in work.
One last close up of the crochet and then I'm off to break the news to Mr P about the deliveries (did I mention I won more than 1 auction? Ooops!) from Ebay we will be having in the next few days...

Oh before I go,can anyone give me any tips on uploading pictures to blogger? It's taken me almost as long to upload these 3 pictures as it did to crochet my squares!

Saturday, 19 July 2008

Mr P avert your eyes now!

I'm trying to persuade Mr P to let me get a cat. I think I've almost succeeded - just hoping he doesn't see this.....

more cat pictures


I've been feeling a bit sorry for myself today as I'm feeling a bit poorly - I've had a tummy bug for most of the week and am still not feeling good :(

My lovely OH, Mr P, has been looking after me and bringing me cups of tea whilst I have been snuggled up on the sofa blof surfing and watching one of my all-time favourite films:

I love everything about this movie; it's beautifully shot and the colours are so vibrant. It makes me want to go to Paris right now!

Friday, 18 July 2008

Cards and flowers

I know, I know, not the most imaginative title for a post but I'm not feeling terribly inspired this evening! Just a very quick post as I'm about to jump in the shower and get ready to go out. One of my best mates graduated today and she's having a little party to celebrate :)

I've just been uploading some pictures to the computer and have a few that I want to post on here over the next few days. Here is the first, which is a card I made for a friend recently:

We went to the QVC Crafting Experience in London last week and she was such great company and even was kind enough to give me the prize she won in the raffle there! How fab is she?!? I've got loads of pictures from that event but they're on my mobile phone and I'm not sure how to get them off there and onto here! We had a great day and learnt lots of new techniques. I also got her a big bunch of flowers to say thank you :)

Speaking of flowers, my OH's mam gave me a massive bunch of flowers at the weekend and they are cheering up our front room as I type this :)

You'll have to excuse my terrible flower arranging skills - they look better in real life (honest!) In fact, there's so many of them that we have 3 (!) vases full!
I looooooooove having fresh flowers in the house; they really make me smile :)

If there's anyone reading this, hope you have a fantastic weekend and that the weather is better than it is here. I can't believe it's mid July and I'm wearing a thick wooly cardi! It's pouring with rain here and it's cold, wet and miserable. What's happened to Summer? I feel cheated!

Thursday, 17 July 2008

Book to Movie Challenge

I'm too late to 'officially' take part in this challenge (it actually took place last year) but I thought "what the heck" and have decided I'm going to do it anyway just for the fun of it :)
The idea with this challenge is that you pick (and read!) at least 3 books that have been made into a movie. This sort of thing is right up my street :)
I first saw this on SMS Reviews blog, which can be found here and is well worth a visit if you're a bit of a bookworm (like me!)
I think a little bit of a background might be in order here... when I was 18 and at 6th form, for some reason best known to the college, they decided that all 6th formers had to take an A-Level in General Studies. This caused uproar amongst the students as we all thought it was a huge waste of time as there was no syllabus and it was just pot luck as to which questions came up in the exam. Luckily for me, one of the essay questions was a discussion about books that had been turned into films and which was better, the book or the film? Being an English and Media student, this question was perfect for me. I am sure it was the reason I got my one and only 'A' grade A-level in General Studies and has sparked a long time interest in books that have been adapted into films.
Ok, enough rambling. Down to business. Here is my list:

  1. Anywhere But Here - Mona Simpson
  2. Practical Magic - Alice Hoffman
  3. Da Vinvi Code - Dan Brown
  4. How to Make an American Quilt - Whitney Otto
  5. Mermaids - Patty Dann
  6. Notes on a Scandal - Zoe Heller
  7. The River King - Alice Hoffman (this is actually a re-read but I love this book and I just found out they made it into a film, so let me off with this one!)
  8. The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants - Ann Brashares
  9. A Slipping Down Life - Anne Tyler
  10. Tuck Everlasting - Natalie Babbit
  11. White Oleander - Janet Fitch
  12. Where the Heart is - Billie Letts

Looking at my list in black and white, I can see that a lot of my books / film choices are girly chick flicks but I like chick flicks!!! I'm not sure if I'll get to read all of these by December 31st so if I don't finish by that date I think I might just carry on!
I've also decided that wherever possible I'm going to try and watch the film (after I've read the book) so I can compare the two. There are a couple of books on this list where I've already seen the film (Mermaids and Practical Magic) so I think I might find it strange reading the books as I'll be imaging Winona Ryder and Nicole Kidman as the characters!

Triple 8 Reading Challenge

Here is another of the old posts....

Triple 8 Challenge

This is a reading challenge and I think it looks really interesting. I've always been a voracious reader and usually I tend to read whatever takes my fancy at that particular moment. This challenge could inspire me to try other genres or authors that I wouldn't normally read so I think I'm going to give it a go!
I need to do a lot of thinking about which 64 books I'm going to choose (if I'm committing myself so publically to reading something I want to be sure it's something I'll enjoy!) but here are my categories....

  1. Crafts (hey, I might as well feed my craft book addiction at the same time!)
  2. Books I really should have read by the age of 29 (this would be all the classics etc that always appear on top 100 lists)
  3. Childrens / young adult
  4. Historical fiction
  5. Fantasy
  6. 8 authors I've not read before
  7. Non-fiction - I love non-fiction books!
  8. Ordinary fiction books! Bit of a cop out I know, but I still want to be able to read the type of books that I've always enjoyed!

I have already started on this challenge and these are the books I have read so far for each category:


  1. Lotta Jansdotter - Simple Sewing
  2. Diana Rupp - Sew Everything Workshop (love this book!)
  3. Jan Eaton - 200 Crochet Blocks for Blankets and Afghans
  4. Jane Brocket - The Gentle Art of Domesticity (this have turner into one of my very favourite books!)

Books I really should have read by the age of 29....

Children's / young adult

Historical Fiction


8 authors I haven't read before


  1. Melvyn Bragg - The Adventure of English


And that's as far as I've got. As you can see, I need to get myself into gear! Any ideas for books would be greatly appreciated!

101 things in 1001 days

I first heard about this on Meshell's blog and thought it sounded like a fabulous idea. I have previously posted this on my (now defunct) old blog but plan on importing a few of the old posts over to here over the next couple of days.

The idea is to create a list of 101 things you would like to accomplish in 1001 days. This really appeals to me because I loooooove lists and also because it will make me focus on the things that I keep saying I'm going to do but never actually get around to doing (I'm a bit rubbish like that!)
The idea first originated on this site. I actually started my list on January 23rd 2008 so my 1001 days will be up on WEDNESDAY OCTOBER 20th 2010 which spookily enough is my 32nd birthday. I like the synchronicity of that :) Anyway, without further ado, here is The List:

Key: Projects in bold are completed, italics mean the project is in progress

  1. Learn to knit (properly!) and complete at least 1 project (maybe from irresistible knits book?)

  2. Learn to crochet and complete the following projects: ripple blanket, granny square (or similar) throw, hexagon throw, a project where I need to learn 5 new stitches

  3. Complete 3 quilts

  4. Make at least 3 scrapbooks of the following: Me and my OH, Family, Good Times

  5. Make an advent calendar

  6. Make all my own Christmas cards in 2008 and 2009

  7. Make at least 1 item from every craft book that I own

  8. Make at least 3 bags (1/3)

  9. Create my own Christmas decorations each year

  10. Complete my list of cross stitch projects that I have planned to do (and already bought the materials for!)

  11. Take photographs of all the things I have made and post on this blog

  12. Take part in at least 5 swaps (2/5)

  13. Make at least 1 thing using a craft that I have never tried before

  14. Make new cushions for the front room

  15. Make my OH a mix CD

  16. Make at least 1 handmade present for the following people: my OH, my mam, my dad, my sister, my brother-in-law, my nanna, my grandad, OH's mam and her partner

  17. Make a purse organiser that I can easily switch between my bags

  18. Learn how to make jewellery. Make at least 10 pairs of earrings (not just all ‘drop‘ ones), 2 bracelets and a necklace (7/13)

  19. Make 3 pieces of wall art for my house

  20. Learn how to make handmade journals and make at least 3 to use for ideas, etc

  21. Create 26 mix Cds, 1 for each letter of the alphabet, see here and here to see what I mean

  22. Learn Spanish well enough to be able to more than just “get by” on holiday

  23. Take part in 5 different reading challenges, including the 888 reading challenge and the book to movie challenge

  24. Listen to 3 audio books on CD (1/3)

  25. Learn about 5 new topics (to be decided!) (Growing vegetables, embroidery, ?, ?, ?)

  26. Learn to fold 10 different origami shapes

  27. Take an evening class in something craft-related

  28. Begin (and maybe even complete!!!) the post-grad diploma that I want to do for work

  29. Read all of LM Montgomery’s books (as far as possible in story chronological order), including re-reading books I have already read (4/32: Anne of Green Gables; Anne of Avonlea; Anne of the Island; Anne of Windy Willows)

  30. Complete the Race for Life

  31. Reach my target weight

  32. Buy a bike and go cycling regularly

  33. Walk more! Use my fit bug to record how many steps I am taking each day and try and beat my personal best. Go for long walks in the summer on the canal, Daisy Nook, Dovestones etc

  34. Cook a ‘fancy’ meal for my OH (starter, main course and pudding)

  35. Plan our meals each week and only buy the things we need. Make a list when we go shopping!

  36. Cut out all alcohol for 1 month

  37. Join a gym and go at least 2 times a week

  38. Learn how to bake a cake

  39. Learn how to make a loaf of bread from scratch (I bought a breadmaker and have been making all our own bread but I still want to have a go at making bread without the breadmaker!)

  40. Invite 3 sets of friends for dinner (cooked by me and my OH)

  41. Take my lunch to work at least 2 times a week (I am office based 3 days a week and the other 2 days work at home)

  42. Get my “five a day” every day for 3 months (can be non-consecutive!)

  43. Go veggie for a week / a month

  44. Sort out and organise my craft room so it is a comfy, cosy place for me to be

  45. De-clutter the house. Find ‘homes’ for things. Get rid of things I no longer need or want

  46. Get all my pictures framed and hung up

  47. Try to recycle more

  48. Grow some vegetables and herbs

  49. Get an inspiration board for my desk

  50. Buy at least 3 new board games and have a “games night” with friends and family

  51. Buy a plant and keep it alive

  52. Put laundry away after folding

  53. Find a way of hanging all my necklaces and earrings up so they don’t become tangled

  54. Sort out all my magazines. Put pictures I like into an ‘inspiration journal’ (or similar) and recycle / donate to charity the rest

  55. See the sunrise from Hartshead Pike

  56. Go on a ‘proper’ picnic (with blanket, wicker basket and eat-with-your-fingers food)

  57. Go to a free summer concert

  58. Go camping

  59. Go and watch 5 plays at the theatre

  60. Go to 3 gigs / concerts

  61. Go to all the museums and galleries in Manchester, Liverpool, Llandudno and Conwy.

  62. Go on at least 12 trips to places that I have not been to before that are reasonably close to where I live, e.g. Sheffield, Halifax, etc

  63. Go ice-skating

  64. Go to the zoo (went to the Welsh Mountain Zoo in June with my OH)

  65. Plant a tree

  66. Go to see a movie by myself

  67. Fly a kite

  68. See the Cirque du Soleil

  69. Visit the following places: Paris, America, Brussels, Barcelona, 2 places I have not been to before (1/2 I went to Tenerife in April with my OH)

  70. Get over my fear of flying!!! I'm still working on this - I was fine flying out to Tenerife but cried like a baby on the way back :(

  71. Have a Hallowe’en party

  72. Go to 10 different restaurants that I have never been to before (1/10 I went to Lords in Harrogate a few weeks ago and very nice it was too!)
  73. Stop worrying about what other people think of me. Less negativity

  74. Make a list of 100 things that make me happy or that I am grateful for. Add to it once (or more!) a week

  75. Come up with a tradition of my own for Christmas

  76. Create a journal of poetry and quotes that ‘speak to me’. Post some of these on my blog

  77. Pay off everything that I owe

  78. Save up for our wedding and deposit on a house
  79. Create a work plan. Where do I see my self in 1, 3, 5, 10 years? What do I need to do to get there? Is what I’m doing now what I want to do for the rest of my life?

  80. Get married!

  81. Find out all family birthdays, anniversaries and telephone numbers. Write on a calendar and make copies for my mam and sister

  82. Trace my family tree (back to at least my great-great-great-grandparents)

  83. Go on a date with my OH at least once a month (going to the pub doesn’t count!) (3/?)

  84. Contact old friends and arrange to meet up (if possible!) Call / email / send card to 1 friend a month

  85. Give blood

  86. Attend as many band rehearsals as possible

  87. Participate in a book club

  88. Take more photographs! Take at least 1 photograph a day of something that interests me for a month and post on my blog

  89. Get a cat (got 2!)

  90. Watch 101 new films (I.e. ones I have not seen before), including at least 5 musicals

  91. Organise all the files from my old computer and burn what I need onto discs etc before getting rid of the old computer

  92. Make up 2 Christmas parcels (1 for a boy, 1 for a girl) to go to the Tameside Radio / Key 103 Christmas appeal

  93. Stop using plastic bags. Take cloth bags with me when I go shopping

  94. Get new glasses

  95. Visit the farmer’s markets at least once a month

  96. Put all my slummy into a jar and don’t touch it until it is full!!!
  97. ?
  98. ?
  99. ?
  100. ?
  101. ?

Phew!!! If you're still reading WELL DONE!!! As you can see, I only have 98 actions on my list. I have 3 spare ones to add new ideas over the duration of this challenge :)

I will edit this page as I complete items on my list and am going to post regularly about my progress on this. I'm really excited about this project as I think it's going to be a lot of fun!

Saturday, 5 July 2008

Saturday night sewing

Still no photos because I can't find the lead for the camera!

Tonight I have spent a lovely night sewing in my little room upstairs. I have been attempting to make a top using a pattern from this fab book. I'm using some jersey fabric I found in a local charity shop for £3 (for LOADS), but I've never ever sewn using jersey before so it has been a bit of a learning curve. It wasn't as difficult as I thought it might be though :)

I've never made clothes before either so I'm hoping it all turns out ok. It's looking good so far so I'm pretty chuffed. So far, I have cut out all the pieces and sewn the back pieces and front pieces together. I had a bit of a disaster when I cut the front piece out because I put the pattern piece on the fold (like I was supposed to) but for some stupid reason, I cut down the fold meaning my front piece ended up in two halves! Luckily the two back pieces were meant to be that size but with a little tab at the top, so I used the pieces which were originally destined for the front and added the two tabs separately. It turned out quite well because I had to top stitch round the back tabs to create a "v" shape for the fastener and the seam where I joined the tabs ended up being the seam for the "v" as well. I know that probably doesn't make a lot of sense reading it, but trust me, I'm pleased with it! lol

Tomorrow I'm hoping I'll get chance to finish this off but I have a parade with band (I had a concert in the park with them this afternoon too!) and I really need to get things sorted for work on Monday :(

I will leave you (my ficticious readers), with this youtube video of one of the songs I was listening to this evening...

Love it!

Thursday, 3 July 2008

A fab find :)

Last week I went shopping to the bigger town near where I live. I've lived in this house for about a year and a half and go shopping to the town all the time but have never been to the outdoor market there as it's a bit out of the way. Well, this time I decided to walk up the hill to the market and I'm glad I did because there were LOADS of fabric stalls there :) Most of them sell materials for saris (lots of gorgeous colours and patterns) but they have plenty of cotton fabrics too and all sorts of trims and notions :) I spent about £6 and came home with a bag bulging with fabric to make some cushions for our front room. I would have bought more but my OH is whinging about the fabric stash I have already and I don't think he would have been too impressed!!!

This evening I started making some cushions for the front room; I have completed 2 so far and they were really easy to make, just like envelopes. When we first moved into the house, I spent a fortune buying cushions but I really want more and more so the sofa is really snuggly and cosy :) The cushions I've made so far don't really match the sofa but they're bright and cheery and I like them so they're staying! (well for the time being at least....)

I wanted to get get some pictures to show on here but my laptop is still being mended so I am on a different computer which won't let me upload pictures :( I have been assured that my computer is being delivered back to me tomorrow so hopefully then I'll be able to get some on here to brighten things up!