torsdag, januar 31, 2013

Spring in my step


I am fully aware that it is still January (the last day of it, though). But these last two days have been so beautifully springlike that it feels more like April than January. And I've got a spring in my step!


Speaking of steps... one really needs to watch ones step when venturing outdoors and in the direction of the henhouse, as the path leading to it has turned rather hazardous. Anyone attempting to walk along it (including the poor hens) risks a severe injury if ones step slips, so to speak...


But the hens do not seem to worry over such minor details, and are rather enjoying there newfound freedom, after months of incarceration indoors. So they are making the most of it, scratching the (icy) ground and picking on the (frozen) grass.


I, too, love to take a stroll in the garden, and to feel the weak winter sun on my face (not much warmth there yet). I know that it will still be a good while till I actually get to do anything in the garden, but a day like today helps to keep my spirits up.


And I know that my flower pots and other garden paraphernalia will also keep, till their time comes.


The lovely swelling lilac buds better keep too, as it is not their time yet either. But the sky is blue, and the grass is green... what more can I expect at the end of January...?


To help spring along, I have picked a bunch of cherry branches, in the hope that sometime in the not too distant future I get to enjoy some pretty, delicate cherry blossoms, way before they will actually appear outdoors.


I know, I know, it is only January, and my springtime feelings are sure to prove premature, as we have not seen the last of winter as of yet. Never mind, I've got a spring in my step, regardless...


Should you wish to see more of the "Linen and toile" quilt, the original entry can be found here.

mandag, januar 28, 2013

Can a girl have too many...?


Indeed! Is there such a thing as too many cushions? Or too many teacups for that matter... Or too many blankets? (I guess I could go on... and on...)


I like to think not. Of course I do not use them all, at the same time, that is. But I do rotate them, all depending on my mood, the weather (?) and the season we are in. Not to mention that in the summer, when the deck becomes another living room, the need is even greater still.


Whatever the reason... or the need, I have managed to make yet another cushion. I am rather in love with this big patterned floral retro print, and just could not resist the urge to make a cushion out of it.


I think I can just see it, out on the deck on a warm summer's day. Actually, I am glad I have a fair bit more of this print, as I believe I could do with a few more of these cushions. Too many, you say...?


More info in regards to the "Denim Love" quilt can be found here.

fredag, januar 25, 2013

Provence


Sadly no. I have not been to Provence lately, but a girl can always dream can't she? In this case Provence refers to the Annie Sloan chalk paint colour I have used lately. With a rather happy result, if I may say so...?


I have had this old bookcase, inherited from hubby's grandmother, in our hallway for ages. The hallway is narrow, and so is the bookcase, making it work perfectly in the rather confined space.


It houses my ever expanding collection of decorating magazines, and does the job beautifully. Apart from its rather dreary "boring brown" colour. Now you may recall I very nearly "declared war" against the "bb" in my house last summer, after having discovered the aforementioned Annie Sloan paints.


Last August I painted our dining table in Cricket, which really is Provence (heavily) diluted with Old White. Leaving me with nearly a whole litre of straight Provence, to do with as I please. Above you can testify the result. Below is the starting point. I think I rather like Provence. And there is still a bit of it left in the pot...

onsdag, januar 23, 2013

Favourite makes; knits

The last entry about my "favourite makes" is about knitting. Now I am even newer to knitting than to crochet. But a few years ago, after having seen a lovely cable knit cushion with a hefty price tag, I decided to make one myself. The result being a dreamy creamy cushion for a fraction of the price.


After having finished my first cable knit cushion I thought it would be the last one. But oh, no. I had to make another one, grey this time. And it did not stop, as a bit later I just had to make a pink one too. By the way, one of the most often asked questions here in my blog is for the cable knit cushion pattern. Here can one (of sorts) be found.


For a lover of blankets, it was just a matter of time before I made an attempt at knitting one. But my first attempt was not just knitted, as the grey blanket is in fact a combination of both knitted and crochet squares. But the knitted ones are definitely in majority. One of my most favourite projects to date.


But of course it did not stop there. I just had to give the knitted squares another go. More colourful this time. And one that is being used every day during these cold winter days.


My love for garter just grew stronger, and last summer I made a garter stitch cushion that has become a firm favourite. Easy peasy with the best of results.


Last autumn I started knitting dishcloth, and quite a few was made (perfect Christmas pressie for family and friends). A lovely way to use up cotton yarn left over from larger projects.


But I could not quite give up on cable knitting either, and two more cushions were made last autumn. In lovely kashmir alpaca wool.


This is it, my friends, for my "favourite makes" series (little did I know that they would indeed turn into a "series")! Thanks for being such lovely, patient readers.

søndag, januar 20, 2013

Favourite makes; crochet


Thank you all for your most lovely comments in regards to my favourite patchwork makes. Encouraged by your response I thought I would keep going with the "favourite makes"-theme, and do one about my crochet efforts. Now I am fairly new to crochet (in comparison to patchwork anyway) and do not have that many makes. And most of them still live here too ;-) Anyhow, here are a few of them...

This blanket inspired by Cath Kidston was my first attempt at ripple. I had several goes at it, until I got the gist of it. But I do have to say I was mighty happy with the end result. However, this colourful blanket has since found a new home.


In between bigger, bulkier makes it is fun to make some smaller projects too (even though I tend to favour the larger ones, for some reason). This little crochet stool cover was made over one Christmas Holiday, and now both the stool and the cover reside in my little studio.


Now this is my second attempt at ripple, in calm soothing creams, naturals and light greys. In this one I used a fair bit of alpaca yarn, which I love for the softness (but not for the price tag). This blanket found a new home at the Christmas Fair I attended a couple of years ago.


I think it is fair to say that out of all of my crochet makes this cotton blanket is my favourite one. It just makes me smile every time I see it. But I did not always smile while making it though, as at times it seemed like a never ending project to make something as sizeable as this out of the thin cotton yarn I was using. But definitely worth it.


The "Sweet and sour" cushion (the only crochet make with a name ;-) was another fun, quick make. One day I would like to attempt a blanket made out of small squares like this...


Finally the last ripple blanket (and the only one in my possession). Actually, I believe as far as blankets go, "rippling" them is the most fun way of crocheting. Where was I...? Oh yes... since the creamy grey ripple found a new home, I just had to make a new one. In cream again, along my favourite soft blues. This one is a keeper.


I do, of course, have other crochet makes, but they appear so often here in my blog (like my very first cream and pink granny blanket. Why start small when you can just as well make something big...?) And various crochet cushions. You are most likely to see them againg... and again!

fredag, januar 18, 2013

Favourite makes; patchwork quilts

Over the course of six+ years of blogging I have made quite a few patchwork quilts, many of which reappear here in my blog from time to time. But there are also quite a few quilts that do not live here any more, and will never again make an appearance here. So I thought it would be fun to revisit some of my favourite ones. If you click on the name of the quilt, you will get to the original entry of that very quilt (should you be interested, that is...) Apologies for the inferior quality of the photos, which were taken with my little old camera.

Out of all the quilts in this entry I believe this "Strawberries and champagne" quilt is my very favourite one (I kind of regret I let it move on...)


The "Gipsy" quilt was made out of various scraps from my fabric stash, and not a single new one was purchased. My favourite colours ;-)


The nine-patch block is my favourite way of making a quilt, and quite a few of them in this entry are indeed nine-patch quilts. This "Christmas quilt" is a good example, even though red is not a colour I use frequently (I do not mind it in small doses, though...) But I quite like the way it works here with all the white.


"Sweet like candy" is one of the very first quilts I made after having started this blog. It is another nine-patch one, all pretty pastels. A quilt I still remember fondly.


The "Tea towel quilt" is rather different from the others, as it is made entirely out of tea towels collected on my travels. The ones with the writing are from Williams-Sonoma in San Francisco ;-) Again, I kind of wish I had not let this one go...


"Lace and roses" is another nine-patch one. All pretty roses, white linen... and lace. You may notice that quite a few of my quilts have been finished off with crochet lace. Unfortunately the lace is increasingly hard to come by, and I have not been able to get any for ages.


The "Autumn quilt" is the final one in this entry. All calm and subtle, in whites and natural linens. With a linen coloured crochet lace. I know that most of the quilts in this entry are being used as table cloths, and I believe it is the case with this one too.


I hope you enjoyed the little look back on some of my favourite patchwork makes. Which one would be your favourite?

onsdag, januar 16, 2013

Cold & comfort


It truly has been very cold here lately, and it feels even colder still with the northerly wind blowing straight from the arctic (or so it seems...), making it very hard indeed to face the elements and leave the comforts of the warm fire and cosy armchair.


But with this treasure in the house, one is really left with now choice. Zara needs her daily walk, and I dare say it is good for me too... So we braced ourselves, and out to the freezing cold we went.


We crossed the small pasture behind our house and headed for the woods, where we enjoyed the game of fetching the stick (well, one of us did the throwing and the other one the fetching...), played hide and seek and were fascinated by the various traces of wildlife in the snow.


After about an hour in the cold both of us were ready to get back. Zara had her eye on the sheepskin in front of the wood burner, while I was rather looking forward to a warm restorative bowl of home made soup. It there really anything more comforting than soup on a cold winter's day?


I made the soup yesterday for our supper, out of home made lamb stock, onion and root veggies (potatoes, carrots and parsnips) from the garden (or rather form the storage now), celery stick, dynamite from the freezer (it works wonders on soups and stews, and not just as an instant winter "salad") and a dash of lemon juice.


Today the flavours were even better, as they had had more time to "settle" overnight. So a bowlful of soup, and I can once again make myself comfortable in the warm cosy chair. Have I ever said winter is not my favourite season...? It really is not that bad. Really!

mandag, januar 14, 2013

Blog worthy...?


Is the season's first bunch of tulips really reason enough not to take as long a beak as intended...? Is it interesting enough to write a blog post about...? All I can say is that I am much touched by your lovely response to my previous entry. Often enough I can't help but feel the stuff I post on this blog of mine is not really blog worthy. But thanks to you lovely lot I shall not harbour these thoughts any longer.


So the very first tulips (notice that they are a different colour than my usual white or pale pink...?) are indeed worthy an entry. Pretty bluey-pinkey tulips, with their promise of spring to come. Even though the days still are dark and oh, so cold, the daylight hours are getting longer by each day. I do try to live in the moment, but can't help but feel joyful about the (slowly) approaching spring.


Thank you for cheering me no end on a dark, cold winter's day. You are truly the best!