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Hi, My name is Kate and this blog is all about my adventures of happy living. By that I mean crochet, chickens and cooking. Here's to the good life - and being a good wife! xxx

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Making Snowflakes

What fun I am having. Any pattern I find I am trying. And learning so much more too!

I must have over forty in my pile now; growing like that of a satistfying as the granny square pile.

I am so in love with these six sided frosty shapes.

Not forgetting some cute granny chrstmas trees.

Some new red and white glittery yarn? ..... I think so!

I am even brave enough to start my own symetrial freestyle patterns. What do you think?

I love pinning them out, starch spaying them .... and then coming down in the morning to find perfectly formed snowflakes!

So what will it be,
hanging in the window?
garlands for my shelves and fire place?
A string for the tree?
Some pastels would be nice?
Or Nordic? 
Or even a mobile?
Or simpley hanging decorations?

Whatever ...... I am loving the snowflakes!


High Force

After our trip to Seal Sands we felt inspired to go on another day out to soak up the lovely weather and autumnal day. On Thursday we ventured out to High Force - one of the largest waterfalls in England.
It was a very quiet day, usually this place is flooded with tourists, but we pretty much had the whole park to ourselves.
Orange leaves fell from the nearly bare trees and landed on the thick carpeted woodland floor.
The contrast of orange leaves and bright green moss was delicious and I made the best of the colourful photo opportunities!

We crossed a lovely stone bridge which in turn crossed a lovely babbling brook.
My Granny loved this view and said how lovely it would be to take a photo with all her grandchildren sitting in different places up the stream (there is lot of us you know!). She was right, it would make a lovely photo and every time I see this I will imagine us all there (all eleven of us aged 4 - 26!) having fun!

As we reached the falls the rock faces got higher and higher. And the sound of rushing, falling water got louder!

(here's me being silly .... again!)

 How lovely. To just sit for a minute and take in the smells, sights and sounds!

 And tastes ........ of a lovely picnic! Ham and mustard cobs. Yummy! How come picnic sandwiches taste a million times nicer than work sarnies?

And for the most exciting part ......... oh my goodness ...... YOU MUST TRY THIS!! ........... If you do pass an M and S .... treat yourself and let me know how you enjoyed it!

 It was lovely to sit outside and soak up the season ... a rare but lovely opportunity!

On the way back up to the car we pulled over to do another little walk. And I am so happy we did. I just loved this view of  the little farmers cottage sitting on its own in such lovely light!

The rest of the holiday was lovely too. Lots of crocheting, coffee shops and films snuggled up with my hubby and granny ♥

For all those Kitch lovers .... check out this cafe we went too ..... Lily's Cafe in Richmond. Cream Teas and vintage crockery! A wanna be vintage house wife's dream come true!

At the weekend we went to stop of at our friends house in Blackpool. I have only been once when I was a little girl. But enjoyed a walk along the peer, despight it being bitterly cold and windy.

We enjoyed fish and chips and had a blast on the penny pushers in the arcade. I won a Frisbee and some blowing bubbles!

So that was that. A lovely break,

I will leave you with some more "lovely light" shots taken in Blackpool.



Drift Wood


Hope you are all okay? I have been under the weather for nearly two weeks now. But I can't complain it's not been disabling, just an annoying tickley cough and headaches. But there are a lot of bugs going around. Hope you are surviving!

Last week me and Craig had a few days off work and went to stay with my Granny in Richmond. It was a lovely few days and we were lucky with the weather. It was dry, crisp, quite still and full of very dramatic light.

On the Wednesday we visited Craig's old grandparents part of the world (a trip down memory lane for him) Stockton on Tees. We went to Seal Sands where he used to play when he was a little boy on his holidays.

The beautiful sand dunes are a protected nature reserve due to the rare birds and seals. As you walk up to the beach you have to go through the dunes which were head height with grasses, swaying in the wind. The path twisted and turned and occasionally gave you a sneaky peak of the sea.

When we reached the beach we were greeted with the most amazing clouds a light! Angel Rays all over the place!

N.B. Angel Rays are what I call the light beams that come out of clouds ..... I don't know the proper name sorry!

The sand was so light and creates beautiful lines and patterns in the wind.

Right next to it is the most industrious chemical factories and power stations. It is so bitter sweet. The air smells of chemicals (actually we pin pointed it down to pea and ham soup!!!) and salty air.


The views are that of beautiful sweeping sands with clouds of steam coming from the cooling towers. In the horizon is the blue sea and a skyline of factories!

As you can imagine we had a fab time walking along. Lots of interesting sights and an abundance of drift wood .... and flip flops actually!

We collected loads of the stuff ... and I had a specific project in mind .... yeah!!!!!

My very own Lil Branch of Glee! (a beautifully recommend blog in the Molly Makes Christmas Book).  A  Take a look here for all the ideas I have been getting! It has been so fun checking out everyone else's ideas ..... oh I can't wait to get this project going!

Isn't it great how you can go somewhere and come away with a totally new idea for a project! Isn't it great how something so little to everyone else will end up meaning so much to you!

As always I had to take the different path .... Everyone else chose the pier!

 Thank you for letting me share this day with you ....


Monday, 12 November 2012

Snowflake Swap Partners

Snowflake Swap Announcements!!!!

First thing is first, who is your swap going to be with ...... are you excited!??!!! I am!

Carol from Tales From Spring Cottage and the lovely Maggie from Flowers in the Window

Michelle Stafford and Lisa Jenkinson (from the facebook page - please let me know if you want me to link your name with your page).

Amanda at Crafty in the Med and Grayseasailor from One Sailor's Log for our international swappers!

Heidi Smith and Jill Overbury from the facebook page.

Little Ray of Sunshine with Kay from Georgia Girl with an English Heart

Bee from thelinencloud and Lazy Daisy Jones.

Me at Granny Taught Me To Crochet with Helen from Moonstruck Creations.

I hope you are happy with your partners. If there are any problems then let me know.

Thank you to Kay for joining up last minute ... your a doll - I have put you with Little Miss S who is happy with international posting. Love to you xxxxx

So now you have been partnered up go stalk!!!! Get to know your partner so you can select the right gifts! Contact each other and swap addresses and also set a limit on how much you want to spend, remember postage costs as well and discuss whether this is in you budget or not.

You can send as many items as you like (probably best to set a total with your partner too) and all of them must be festive. Including a homemade snowflake. Be creative! It could be knitted, hooked, stitched or felted! Use your imagination! Other treats could include craft box items, sweet treats, yarn and fabric or vintage christmassy items.

All packages must be sent by 13th December to ensure they arrive by Christmas and then we can all post about them during Christmas week. I bet you won't be able to save your beautifully wrapped parcels until the big day!!

So good luck .... let the stalking begin!

Kate xxxx

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Music, remembering and catch up.

I know this is a slightly different topic to what you all signed up for, however another one of my passions is music. I felt a strong urge to share with you just a few tracks I have been enjoying this year. So before I go into what I've been up to this weekend here they are ....
  • Alt J - Tessallate
This band are fantastic. I love the sound, the magical lyrics and trills made by the instruments and very lucky to go and see them next year. Top deserves of the Mercury Prize. The song itself reminds me of the lovely holiday in Scotland and in particular killing time in a music shop in between comedy shows at the Edinburgh Festival. I heard it come on and I had to ask the man behind the counter "What is this amazing song??!!!".
  • Friends - I'm His Girl.
Catchy, cool and savvy. It has such a vintage sound with a cool bass line and cool video to match. Bring back cassettes!!!! The little bell that rings throughout the song defiantly deserves a little ass shaking! Especially when painting or wallpapering. This song reminds me of decorating our bedroom in our new house. It was such an exciting time and even though I didn't know the words I sang along anyway!
  • Steeling Sheep - Shut Eye
Firstly I love this .... secondly the singer is my best friend from school and she is amazing .... we did music together in lots of bands. There she is look gorgeous as ever! If you go and check out one track from my 2012 play list then this is the one! You won't be disappointed - it is lovely! Full of mythical instruments and percussion and the harmonies are delicious.
  • Mumford & Sons - I Will Wait
My husband can't stand M&S's and I can't get enough of them. The lyrics are full of romance and the style is so happy and upbeat. Yeeeeeehaaaaaa!
  • Laura Marling - I was Just a Card
I love this whole feel to this track, and her whole album to be honest. Her voice is to die for and this is a good one ladies to sing your hearts out to when nobody is listening. Folk without the annoying bits!
  • Hot Chip - Night and Day.
I used to love dancing to Hot Chip when they first came out on the club scene. I'm slightly too old for this now, but this tune had me going back to my dancing days kitchen style. The video is also hilarious and is directed by one of my favourite comedians Peter Serafinowicz.

                *               *               *

This weekend has been very slow paced and lovely. Yesterday I had a little mooch around Lichfield with my sister and brought a few shopping list items and starch spray. Most importantly we had a lovely relaxing lunch. We chose to go to a little bistro called 1709. They do a two course lunch menu for £5.90 and it is so gorgeous.

I went for the pumpkin and chili soup with sesame seeds and chunky bread for my starter. It was so warming and delicious. I have never tried pumpkin before (shock horror) but I most defiantly will be trying some recipes with it next autumn. Yummyness! As you can see from the picture I had to pause half way to take a photo. I had almost forgot because it was so delicious!

For our main we both chose the belly pork on apple mash and board beans, served with a creamy musardy dreamy moreish sauce. We couldn't resist using our fingers for the crackling which was salty and crunchy and the sauce, oh the sauce!, it was so moreish and creamy! Mmmmmm. I will most defiantly be visiting here again!

The rest of the weekend has been filled with fixing my snowflakes and adding the finishing touches to the advent bags I have been making. I am also in full swing making and writing my Christmas cards.

Today is remembrance Sunday and every year there is a service outside the memorial next to our house. There is a huge attendance and the road is closed. Bagpipes play and there are a couple of hymns and a two minute silence. Me and Craig always open our window fully and watch from our room.

This year was far more poignant that any year for me. It has been a sad year. I have lost my grandad, who served in the war during his National Service. But Remembrance Sunday will mean that much more as I now have him to remember and also my baby I lost at the beginning of the year. The two minute silence was no longer a faceless two minutes were I felt gratitude for those who died during the war for us. It was a two minute silence filled with sadness and memories full of them both.

I will never forget them.

Tomorrow I will be announcing the swap partners for the Christmas Snowflake Swap. I have an odd number and have no partner for myself so if anyone would like to join in that would be great! You don't need to crochet, your snowflake gifts can be brought, sewn, knitted or crafted! Just let me know by commenting if you want to play. Go-on, you know you want to!

xxxxxxxxxx love xxxxxxxxxx

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

The day after bonfire night .....

I can officially look forward to Christmas. Yippeeeeeeeee!
I was always told by my parents that I wasn’t allowed to think about Christmas until the day after bonfire night. So weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeJ It’s nearly here!
How perfect and fitting that I should want to share the Molly Makes Christmas Book with you. I got it from amazon for a bargain price of £6.99 delivered and it was a great treat. There are so may ideas for lots of different crafts.
Nordic Felt Housing to hang on the tree.
Vintage Fabric Stockings
Crochet Rudolf ...... oh I can't wait!!!!
Some smoochy mistletoe .... and remember, what happens under the mistletoe, stays under the mistletoe!
Crochet mince pies, sherry and carrots to leave out for Santa on Christmas Eve!
A beautiful embroidery Christmas scene ...... and there are lots lots more!

Apart from the delightful projects the book is also great to sit and look through to get in the festive mood. The background vintage designs are absolutely gorgeous. Take a peek at these!
Finally, here is my Tuesday tallies ……
Apart from making a few bits in preparation for the snowflake swap (only 6 days left to sign up … if you want to follow this link and comment). I have been busy making granny squares for a scarf. I have used a chunky lovely bluey, purple, greeny yarn.
And also making lots of Christmas cards. This year I have decided to KISS (keep - it - simple-sweetie). With a simple cute red stamp design on a white background.

Fa La La La La!
And, phew, I have finished making 96 little advent bags .... it was a hard slog at the end, now I have to add the ties ... I bet you don't envy me there!
I have also been taking little snaps with my mobile of decorations in shops I want to try and remember and use for inspiration.
Bright felt and pompom Christmas tree cushion...
Don’t you just love these the little mitts!

Gingerbread men were everywhere in the garden centre.

And I just love love love these cute hearts, not just for Christmas!

 I have opened a Pintrest account and have been having oh so much fun pinning lovely photos on my boards. Do pop along and have a look!
So, a question; how do you make you crochet stiffer …. do you use starch spray? I have read a bit sugar water, do you use that? Can you make your own? If not where do you get it from etc …… blogging community ….. SOS.
Gtm2C xxxxxx