Monday, December 28, 2009

Yuletide Blessings

Well, I hope you all had an amazing Christmas? I’ve had such good fun. It’s officially been a white Christmas here, although the snow has now melted. I went to see Avatar in 3D on Christmas Eve with M. I gather there’ve been lots of arguments about the social implications of the film, but if you take it on face value, it’s a visually beautiful film; just what you’d expect from a James Cameron film. The night-time scenes on Pandora are particularly beautiful! We’ve also seen part one of the new Doctor Who Christmas special, The End of Time; I can’t wait to see part two, the Master and the Time Lords return, and David Tennant steps aside for the next Doctor! I’ll be sad to see him go, he’s been an excellent Doctor, but I’m interested to see the new Doctor, especially as he’s a local lad (from my town). M and I have been playing Super Mario Brothers on the Wii, which is great fun and allows us to play co-operatively. We managed to complete a particularly difficult world last night and we were jumping round the living room in a mad victory dance afterwards!

I was totally totally spoilt this year!! Not only have I had a lovely Christmas day with my family, but I had some fantastic gifts; I’m almost speechless with the awesomeness of my gifts!

M gave me a TomTom Pearl, a girlie SatNav in a pearl colour and pretty swirls all over the casing. This is fabulous because my sense of direction is truly appalling and since my last SatNav lost the will to live, I’ve kind of been avoiding driving into the unknown. She also comes with a handy little satin pouch to carry her in. She has lots of extras which do things like directing me to the nearest garage/police stations/vets and will direct me on foot or by road…she’ll also give first aid directions, what to do in the event of accidents, etc. Fantastic! I envisage Pearl and I will have some amazing adventures together!

I also got Wii Yoga from my Mum, some funky gardening gloves and a lovely embroidered purse,

a GorillaPod (an articulated tripod) for my digi-SLR, from my brother. This has got moveable grip able legs which will wrap round tree branches or railings, anything like that.

My sis gave me an Indian style necklace and a bracelet, also some green glittering liquid liner and a fun sign which states that women and cats do what they want, and men and dogs should just get used to it! I’ve hung it where M can see it every day just to remind him*lol*

And my friend G gave me a lovely copper and glass seahorse wind chime with glass beads, and a cat calendar

M’s Mum gave me a snug-bug blanket; a huge blanket with sleeves so that I don’t get so cold in the evenings, especially when we’re lounging on the sofa with a movie! She also gave us a huge tin of Quality Street chocolates, I’m going to be as fat as a barrel by the time I get back to work!

And then when I got home, M surprised me with gift number two; a Blackberry phone!

I then had to whip up a little sock for it to protect it, so I knit this up in double quick time on Boxing day, whilst M & C watched Laurel and Hardy. 

I just used a 3k 1p rib in the round and used a 3 needle bind off to secure the seam. It fits nice and snug!

In fact I’ve been knitting like a fiend for the last week or so and I’ve finished a couple of major projects which have been WIP’s for quite a while! I finished these basic ribbed socks.

I also finally finished my BPT Hoody!! Woohoo! Celebrations are in order! This has taken me almost a year and a half to knit! Other projects have kind of got in the way. It’s a bit of a sad story that goes with this hoody, I started knitting it the day Dad died, as a way of keeping my sanity whilst coping with all the chaos involved with the death of a parent, and also the long process of repatriating a body from overseas, since Dad died on holiday in France. Sadly it’s a little big for me now since I lost so much weight, so I might shove it through the wash to see if I can resize it a little. Failing that, I may try lining it with fleece or something, or using it as an overcoat. I’ve got to find a long zip for the front too.

The oversize hood is wonderful though and gives it a nice Elvish drape round the face.

My current WIP is a snowball boa for my Mum; a scarf made from white pompoms.

There’s something very appealing about pompoms, isn’t there?

Pom pom, tiddly pom!


Monday, December 21, 2009

I’m dreaming of a…….

White Christmas? Yep, there’s only three days to go and the snow is falling, all around us, children playing, having fun…Oooops, very sorry, just slipped into a musical interlude there! It’s beginning to feel alot like Christmas here, cheesy films on the telly, Christmas music on the radio (apart from the Christmas number one being Rage Against the Machine; awesome!), snow, decorations….

Doesn’t the snow make everything look fresh and clean and pretty?! Especially when you don’t have to go out in it! I’ve had great fun watching the cars trying to struggle up the hill in the snow. We’re just not prepared for snow in this county; we generally don’t get extremes of weather being slap-bang in the centre of England here!

In fact, for the last few days I’ve felt like I’m living in Narnia.

Joe, of course, loves the snow!

So being in my house all day, cosy and warm with no *ahem* work to do means that I’ve been so productive and creative! Take today for example, I had to stay in for a courier delivery and I’ve cleaned my living room, made fudge, lentil soup and winter spice sugar scrub, knitted half a sock, finished one book and started another. Honestly, I’m like a demon at the moment! Hmm, wrong word maybe? But honestly, I’ve just got so much done since I’ve broken up for the holidays!

Look, here’s a couple of elasticated bracelets that I’ve made for gifts from my oddments bead box..

And this I made for my sister for Christmas!

I even made a cute box to put it in! 

I painted some lovely rainbow light bulbs which are available in my eBay shop…

I also made this necklace for myself out of beads I’ve had around for ages!

Tomorrow, since I don’t have to stay in all day, I’m hoping to get out in the snow again for a lovely snowy shutterbug walk with my new camera! Wednesday I’m visiting my Aunt with my Mum and Sis, then we’re having a girlie shopping trip to Blue Water, the massive shopping centre near (ish) where she lives, and then hopefully M and I are going to see Avatar in 3D in the evening.

Hope you’re enjoying the build-up to your Christmas?!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Markets and Parties

So where has December gone? It’s just flown by! My friend G and I went to a Victorian Christmas market in the city of Lincoln where the whole city was closed off to traffic and the streets were filled with Christmas stalls and stall holders in Victorian costume. We had such a great day, filled with mulled wine, roast chestnuts and shopping. The cathedral looked so pretty at night that I had to get a shot!

It was another friends birthday and we held a double party; a birthday and Christmas party all rolled up together, with the usual food, secret Santa, pass the parcels, party bags and silly party games. What a great night!

This was my contribution to the party bags, you know those little packets of tissues you can get, I made little fabric wallets for them and put a packet of tissues and a holder into each party bag. Luckily  I already had some Christmas fabric in my stash! I have some of these which I carry around with me and they really protect your tissues from disintegrating in your bag!

I also finished and posted Lana’s poncho hoodie! Hurray! With the crazy workload I’ve had this term, this has taken me ages! I really hope that Lana likes it. I received my side of the personal swap; Rox sent me a bunch of steampunk jewellery, some Kool-Aid and a beautiful purple scarf.

To be fair, I used a much smaller hook for Lana’s because she’s only about 5, so there were many more stitches in this than in the adult one.

Now I’ve finished this I can crack on with all my WIP’s, so I’ve done alot more of my BPT hoodie and I’m really hoping to get that finished before I go back to school so I can wear it now the weather’s cold!

I’ve been really creative recently, now I’ve got all my reports and marking out of the way. I made this for me last weekend. I love the simple combo of black and silver.

I love these Balinese silver beads, they’re just ornate enough to compliment the simpleness of the black leaves. I also used silver twisted bugles and silver and black seed beads as spacers.

Remember this Fimo focal bead I bought from a bead fayre back in March? (I think it was March anyway). I finally got around to creating a necklace with it.

I though the leaf fimo beads perfectly complimented the focal bead, they even had the same colours in, and the square glass foil beads perfectly complimented the focal bead.

I haven’t worn this yet, but I can’t wait to!

Another installment of Decembers creations will follow, I don’t want to overload you with photos *lol*

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Birthdays and Bellydancing!

Okay, so my birthday has been and gone…lots of celebrating occurred, lots of food was consumed, and I had some amazing presents including this fantastic camera from M

It has an amazing 14 megapixels and an amazing zoom facility. I’m sure my ‘babies’ will become sick of my photographing them, but hey, I’ve got to get used to it; it has tons of settings like this lovely soft focus portrait setting!

I got some wonderful presents from family and friends, and made some bead pendants to put in the party goody bags.

The Christmas Hafla took place on Thursday night and even though my cowrie embellished choli had been finished, the belt that I ordered didn’t turn up until the day before, and then it was faulty!

The woman said she’d send me another one, but I knew it wouldn’t turn up in time, so I decided to wear something else instead. Not bad for being thrown together on the night! 

I took my new Digi SLR to the Hafla with me to get some practice in using it in action. Here’s one of some of the girls (we had a professional one done too, but we won’t get that for a few weeks)


As always it was a fun night out, the dance went wonderfully and I got some great shots with my camera. Can you believe that our youngest performer was eleven!

Our favourite tribal troop!

I have two days of term left! I can’t wait for a break!


Thursday, November 26, 2009

Baaad blogger!

Yep, I’m a bad blogger! I haven’t been here for absolutely ages; that terrible thing called ‘real life’ has reared it’s ugly head and seriously cut into my personal time! I’ve been really really busy, but I have managed to cram some socialising and crafting into my hectic schedule. So what have I been up to? Well, friends and I went to the local fireworks display on November 5th, a night traditionally called Bonfire Night (or Guy Fawkes) here in the UK.  Guy Fawkes Night is an annual celebration marking the downfall of the Gunpowder Plot of 5 November 1605, in which a number of Catholic conspirators, including Guy Fawkes, attempted to destroy the Houses of Parliament, in London. Usual celebrations include bonfires on which a ‘guy’ is burnt (a stuffed human effigy – yeah I know, pretty gruesome eh?), fireworks, toffee apples, and sparklers. When I was little, we used to have a bonfire in the garden (made from all the garden rubbish collected from putting the garden to bed for the winter, fallen leaves, trimmed shrubs and pruned branches, stuff like that), jacket potatoes were baked in the bottom of the bonfire in foil, and Dad used to set up fireworks at the bottom of the garden. It was great fun! Nowadays more people go to organised displays, so M, G, G’s son K and I went to a local display where there was a huge bonfire, a display and a fair with lots of rides.

There was much oooo-ing and aaah-ing!

And much fun was had by all!

Most of what I’ve been doing lately has been recon stuff because I’ve lost weight and now a lot of my clothes don’t fit, so I’ve been taking stuff in, running repairs and chopping stuff up. 

I tried on my outfit for the Hafla last night (only two weeks away now!) and this tribal top that I bought in the summer and I’ve nearly finished embellishing doesn’t fit me any more because I’ve lost more weight, so I’m going to have to take it in. The cowries tassel belt that I made at Christmas which would go perfectly with this outfit slips completely off my hips now, so I’m going to have to take that in too! 

I made a mock-up for some stocking filler tissue holders the other day too- I think I’ll make them in Christmas-y fabric since I just found some in my stash! I bought some multi packs of pocket tissues too, they’ll be perfect for the goodie bags at the girls Christmas party!




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