Monday, 22 December 2014

Christmassy Snippets

:: I am absolutely loving my Poinsettia plant just now ~ these beautiful red and green leaves are just so Christmassy::

:: This jolly looking snowman came to live with us a few years ago. Each of the small people were given one by their Granny filled with Christmas goodies. He now gets to sit at either side of the fire place at Christmas time with his friend to add a bit of Christmas cheer::

::  I went into Edinburgh on the train by myself one day last week for some final Christmas bits and pieces, and I took the opportunity to have a leisurely wander around the German Christmas market ~ I just couldn't resist buying this beautiful tea light holder which lights up the Edinburgh sky line.::

:: "Christmas stockings are hung by the chimney with care" ~ this image reminds me of my favourite Christmas poem ~ The Night before Christmas by Clement Clarke Moore. We always read it to the small people at bedtime on Christmas Eve ::

:: Our little town is looking exceptionally lovely just now with lots of sparkly and colourful Christmas lights strung about everywhere ~ my favourite is this old Horse Chestnut tree which is at the entrance of the park ::

Hoping that you all have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year and that all your Christmas wishes come true :O)xx

Friday, 19 December 2014

Christmas Popcorn Box

My two smallish people love nothing better than a trip to the cinema ~ however, they don't get the chance to go and see a film that often these days, as a family trip to the cinema very nearly requires us to take out a bank loan.

A little while back when I was thinking about what to buy them for Christmas, I thought that it would be a lovely idea to get each of them a cinema voucher as part of their Christmas present. My daughter is just old enough to be allowed to go into Edinburgh by herself on the train and can use her voucher to go and see a couple of films with her friends. My son is not quite old enough to go by himself  yet..........  so he will have to go with his Mum and Dad ~ which means that everyone is a winner!

Instead of just handing them over a boring old white envelope with the cinema voucher inside, I thought it would be a nice idea to get a little bit more inventive with the wrapping. I googled some printable popcorn box templates and managed to print them out onto some white card. A little bit of snipping and sticking and ten minutes later I had something that resembled a popcorn box. So far so good!

Next I gathered a selection of yummy goodies that could go into the box ~ mini bags of popcorn (obviously!) and some portable bags of sweeties that could easily be taken to the cinema. Although there is a pretty good chance that the goodies will probably be eaten well before the trip to the cinema actually happens.

Here's hoping that they like their Christmas Popcorn Box ~ I think I'd maybe quite like one for myself too! :O)xx

Friday, 12 December 2014

Easy does it!

We have had some unwanted visitors here this week in the form of coughs and colds and sneezes and it has been necessary to slow the pace right down and take things a little bit easier. I've had a small boy home from school for the last couple of days. He has been fighting a temperature and has been wrapped up in a cosy blankety nest on the settee ~ and although my Little Boy Blue Granny Stripe is not quite finished yet it has already been put to good use as part of that blankety nest. There has been some cuddly doggies making use of it too!  I know that he must really be feeling under the weather as he has been happy to sit still and has been a bit too quiet ~ which is really not like him at all!

There has not been much opportunity to get out and about either as the weather here has been rather a mixed bag. There has been rain, sleet, snow, lots of wind and the odd glimpse of some sunshine. And it's been bitterly COLD too ~ It really can't seem to make up it's mind!

I took the opportunity on one of the nicer weather moments to have a walk along the sea front ~ and on the way home I passed this wonderful statue. He's called The Watcher ~ he is dressed in outdoor gear, with his camera slung over his shoulder and he gazes out towards the sea looking through his binoculars in the direction of the Bass Rock. He stands there in all weathers and I think he is just crying out for a bit of a woolly makeover ~ maybe a hat and a scarf would keep him a bit cosier!

I've been trying to get myself into the Christmas spirit too ~ I managed to rescue this little Poinsettia plant from the reduced shelf in the supermarket for a bargain price of just less than two pounds. It was all dried up and in need of a little bit of TLC ~ all it really needed was a long drink of water and a nice spot at the window and it soon perked up. It's looking very healthy now and I am enjoying seeing it's beautiful red and green foliage every time I come into the room. These lovely plants are just so Christmassy!

Hope that you all have a very lovely and cosy weekend :O)xx

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Flowery Coasters

A few days ago I showed you the Flowery Coasters that I made to make life more comfortable for my Hyacinths in their seasidey mugs and I thought that I would share the pattern with you ~ just in case you wanted to make some Flowery Coasters of your own. I know that there are lots of patterns for very similar coasters out there already but this is how I made mine.

First off some Hooky abbreviations ~ using UK terms ::

ss ~ Slip Stitch
tr ~ Treble Crochet
ch(s) ~ Chain(s)
sk ~Skip a Stitch

Materials ~ I used a 4mm hook and some StyleCraft Double Knit but you could use any size hook and yarn that you have to hand.

To start chain 4 and join with a slip stitch to form a ring

Round 1 ~ Chain 3 (counts a one treble) and then 9tr into ring ~ join with a slip stitch into the top of the top of ch3.

Round 2 ~ Chain 3 (counts as 1tr), 1tr into same stitch, 2tr into each stitch to the end ~ join with a slip stitch into the top of ch3.

Round 3 ~ Chain 3 (counts as 1tr), 1 tr into same stitch, *1tr into next stitch, 2 tr into next stitch*. Repeat from * to * until the end and join with a slip stitch into the top of ch3.

Round 4 ~ Chain 3 (counts as 1tr), 1tr into same stitch, 2tr into each stitch to the end ~ join with a slip stitch into the top of ch3.

Round 5 ~ Chain 3 (counts as 1tr), 1tr into same stitch, 2tr into each stitch to the end ~ join with a slip stitch into the top of ch3.

Round 6 ~ *Skip 2 stitches, 7tr into next stitch, sk2 and then slip stitch into next stitch* (This makes one petal). Repeat from * to * until you have made 12 petals in total. When making the last petal join with a slip stitch into the first stitch of the first petal.

Fasten off the yarn and then darn in your tail ends.

Your Flowery Coasters are then ready for you to enjoy and for you to pretty up your flower pots as you wish.

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Random Things

This week I have been enjoying a nice cup of tea and a very sticky slice of syrupy flapjack bought especially for me by my boy. It was absolutely delicious despite the fact in had been wrapped up in a napkin and carted around inside his school bag for a whole afternoon.

I treated myself to a really cheap pot of hyacinths from the local supermarket for just a few pounds, They came inside a rather dull and dreary brown plastic pot so I decided to re-pot them into my favourite seasidey mugs. I'm really looking forward to seeing them bloom on my kitchen window sill and can't wait for them to begin to flower ~ I decided to go for the blue flowers as I love them the best. They have already grown quite a little bit in height since I brought them home.

I decided that the afore mentioned re-potted hyacinths were just crying out for couple of crocheted coasters to make their life on the window sill a bit more comfortable. I had a bit of a rake through my stash of Stylecraft and found some suitable hyacinthy colours and managed to whip up some pretty little Flowery coasters for them to sit on.

I also enjoyed a nice chilled glass of white wine on Sunday evening whilst adding the last few stripes to my Little Boy Blue Granny Stripe blanket. I am happy to report that I am now on the final push with this blanket (it's only taken me nearly three years!) and I am just about teetering on the edge!

Just recently the skies around my little part of the world have been pretty spectacular ~ this was the sunrise a couple of mornings ago. The colours have been particularly beautiful this month and I do love to see the dark silhouette of the Law against the sky.

Hoping your week has been full of lovely random things too :O)xx

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Dreich Outside

The weather around here has been very unsettled this week. Most of the time it has been a bit dull and overcast and there has been some very heavy downpours. In fact, it has been downright dreich!

Dreich :: An Old Scots word meaning a combination of dull,overcast, drizzly, cold, misty and miserable weather ::

Not really weather that inspires you to want to leave your cosy house and get out and about. To be honest with you, I'd much rather be sitting in front of the fire keeping myself cosy and warm, with my feet up and a cup of tea in one hand and a crochet hook in the other.

However, earlier in the week I had to go down into town to post a birthday card which HAD to be at it's destination the very next day. I wrapped myself up as warmly as I could and headed out into the cold. I decided that my best option would be to take the quickest and most direct route through the park.

The Post Office is in the High Street just beyond these pretty white buildings. This was in between showers and the sky was grey and threatening to bring more rain.

I love this archway ~ here it is again from the other side. The trees have all but lost most of their leaves now and are looking very bare indeed, and all the flower beds are empty and have been raked over in preparation for the winter ~ there is not much colour to be seen at all. The park was also pretty deserted with only a handful of hardy souls daring to brave the elements.

This is the view that greets me as I come back up the hill from the town towards my house ~ the big hill is North Berwick Law ~ taken from my back garden gate. It makes me feel so happy to live in such a beautiful place ~ surrounded by both the countryside and the seaside.

Just inside my garden gate is this beautiful riot of red berries ~ I'm not sure what the plant is but it provides a welcome injection of colour on an otherwise dull and dreary day.

Hoping your weather is not as dreich as mine :O)xx

Friday, 14 November 2014

Little Things

Little things that have made me happy this week ::

Thing One ~ watching my boy march at the front of the Remembrance Parade last Sunday playing his bagpipes.

He looked so smart in his uniform and I'm not ashamed to say that I had a little tear in my eye as I watched him march past. Such a Proud Mummy Moment!

Thing Two ~ unearthing my Little Boy Blue Granny Stripe (which has been on the go for much longer than I care to admit!), and adding a few more lovely blue stripes. It feels like it's just the right kind of weather now to be crocheting a blanket too. I think that I must be almost 3/4 of the way done with this blanket now and it is getting quite heavy. There is something quite comforting about feeling the weight of the blanket on your knee as you crochet, and I must say that it is doing a really good job of keeping me cosy as I crochet away adding stripes.

Thing Three ~ ordering some Rico Creative Cotton for my latest project from The Wool Warehouse and being delighted when I opened the parcel and found that it came all nicely packaged up in a beautiful little organza bag. I really didn't expect that ~ what a lovely thing to do!

Hoping you all have a very lovely weekend :O)xx