52 weeks of happy: 2/52

Time for more happy…

Red and yellow tulip

Snowflake block

I'd rather still be in bed

New yarn

  • Red and yellow tulips. You can’t go wrong with a vase of tulips…
  • My first snowflake block in ages. It feels good to get going on my blanket again.
  • “I’d rather still be in bed”. So true! I’ve been eyeing up this picture for ages and found it at 50% off when I popped into town yesterday. Awesome 🙂
  • The first Crafty Club of 2013 with Sarah and Anna. It was good to catch up and be crafty. New yarn may have also been involved…

Week Off Work Week 2: Day 3

Yesterday I was off to Sarah’s for a crafty day. I think we’ve got a pattern to these now: a mid morning start, much playing with baby Peter (who is growing taller and cuter by the day) and lots of chat, a bit of craft post lunch whilst he’s napping and then more play/chat. I love these days so much! They’re just so much fun.

Highlights of yesterday include:

  • Squeezing in Peter’s first trip to Hobbycraft. I mean, what 6 month old doesn’t need to know the range of craft supplies available down the road?
  • Sorting out the layout of my Blue Block Blanket – each row is now bagged up ready to be put together


  • Feeding Peter lunch and a) him eating it all and b) not getting it on the walls or ceiling
  • Purchasing these gorgeous colours for a cute cross stitch pattern I found in a magazine


  • Giving Peter a bottle and him falling asleep on me
  • Much chat with Sarah, especially getting ideas for trees to go in my garden (not that I have one – I’m getting way too carried away here, following the trip to see houses on Monday). We’re thinking witch hazel for winter colour and (I think) snowy mespilus for its gorgeous blossom.
  • Chatting with Ben once he got back from work and getting an outside opinion on the second development we saw on Monday (go for Plot 3)!

I’ll say it again. It was an ace day!

Week Off Work Week: Day 1 photos

Today is so grey and miserable I should just have taken photos last night! Anyway, here’s what I got up to yesterday. It’s all a bit Christmasy…

A Christmas tree made from little paper Christmas trees. I’m going to frame it and put it up at the start of December.

I like the way the trees are floating off the paper!

A snowflake door hanging made from three felt tree decorations strung together. I think this is missing something though. I’m thinking that sequins in the centre of each snowflake might give it a bit of twinkle?

My first ever homemade gift tag. I’m going with parcels wrapped in brown paper, tied with red and green ribbon and one of these tags! I don’t normally have a wrapping colour scheme but I’ve been reading some fab Christmas magazines and got totally inspired to wrap pretty parcels this year 🙂 Anna helped me out with the colour scheme and gave me all the card so I could just get going…

Week Off Work Week: Day 1

Yay it’s Monday and I’m on holiday 🙂 🙂 🙂 OH and I christened this Week Off Work Week back when we first booked the time off and it’s been loooong anticipated and much mispronounced (Work Off Week Work is my usual one).

As I’m at serious risk of spending all my time sneaking around and fireballing evil doers in Skyrim, I set myself a goal of doing something crafty every day.

Today’s fun was some girly crafty time with Anna and Sarah. We also had some male company in the form of Sarah’s super cute son Peter, who was a total cutie and even napped a bit to let us do some crafty stuff. First up was a bit of shopping for assorted crafty goodness followed by some making. As I’m in the frozen north there is zero precious little daylight at the moment so photos of said goodness and making will have to follow tomorrow. But it was a good day – the perfect start to Week Off Work Week!

Gone crafting

Well, after a bit of a crafty break, I’m getting back into things in style with a full crafty day with Sarah.

I’ve got big plans for today and they involve either a layer cake or two jelly rolls. Decisions, decisions…

BBB Colours Chosen!

I’m VERY excited. Far more than I really should be given that the excitement is over ordering yarn for my Blue Block Blanket!!

Such pretty colours! From top to bottom there’s Denim, Sherbet, Bluebell, Aspen, Cloud Blue, Aster, Turquoise and Royal. Well those are the names, but I’m not sure whether or not they’re matched to the right samples as the colour chart and real life colours look a little different!

The yarn is Stylecraft Special DK as recommended by Attic 24. Anna’s using it for her granny strip blanket so last night at crafty club, I got a look at the colours she chose. I also had samples of the blues that she didn’t pick and after MUCH umming and ahhhing, I finally plumped for the colours above. And it’s only £1.25 per 100g from Country Crafts – a total bargain!

There are 101 things I should be doing…

… and this is not one of them…

Ok I might be exaggerating a tad on the 101 things, but I should definitely not be working on this! I should be doing my Bee Europa blocks, or my embroider-bee blocks, or working on my Baby Jane quilt. But no. I’m crocheting.

I’m attempting a mini granny stripe blanket a la Attic 24‘s one (if you haven’t seen her blog, it’s well worth a visit for total crochet inspiration). This blanket caught my eye and when Anna announced she was making one, I had to join in the fun.

I wasn’t intending on starting this right now, but the other night at crafty club I went and forget the patterns for my embroider-bee blocks, doh! So as I’d brought my wool to show Anna, I decided to start the blanket instead.

So far things are going ok, although it’s turning out somewhat curly. And the wool is kinda squeaky because it’s acrylic (I hadn’t noticed that until Anna pointed it out and now it’s all I can hear – thanks Anna :)).

And as for bee blocks – well I’m totally, absolutely, 100% going to have a big blitz at the weekend…!

Are you sitting comfortably?

So I thought a story on how on earth I ended up with a Janome 7700 would be in order. Are you sitting comfortably? You probably need to be because this is kinda long, even after some brutal edits. Man I’m wordy when I get going! Anyway, my first machine was (and still is) a Brother Innov-is 10a. Isn’t it cute?!

Back when I bought it, I’d just started quilting and didn’t want to fork out for a big, expensive machine on the back of having sewn a few squares of fabric together! So when my dealer showed me the 10a I realised it was the perfect machine for me. It’s so easy to use, sews really well and I could decide whether I wanted or needed anything bigger. Plus it’s pink 🙂

A year on and although I really love my 10a, I’ve started wanting to make big quilts and the 10a just isn’t big enough for that. So I started researching bigger machines and listing my must-have features, with the aim of saving up to get something bigger this time next year.

But then word starting filtering through the interweb of a new machine, with a whopping 11″ of space to the right of the needle and 5 bright LED lights. Yes, 5. For me, these are the killer features of this machine. Forget the oodles of stitches, forget the gazzilions of buttonholes. My top must-have features are lots of space and lots of lights and this machine has both of those in spades.

The more I looked, the more I fell in lust, but it was so out of my budget it was unreal. But then, totally out of the blue, my Dad rang and mentioned that he’d been saving some money for when I turned 21 (now before you get a highly unrealistic impression of my age, let’s just say that Dad’s been hanging on to the money for a while. A long while). But what a truly awesome, generous surprise. Thanks Dad!

After that, I started thinking about it more seriously and when I found out that Janome have a £500 off deal right now (yes, you did read that right – that’s about 1/3rd off), suddenly things became do-able. So I booked an appointment for a test drive and rang hubby several hours later to ask him to come pick me and my new machine up!

When I opened the box, hubby’s first comment was “it’s fricking enormous!”. Then when I put it next to my current machine, he just collapsed laughing (I think the laughter had a tinge of hysteria though)!

I’m not planning on getting rid of my 10a. It’s a great wee machine and perfect for taking to crafty club as the 7700 weighs a tonne and I don’t think carting it around that often would be good for it (or me either come to that!). So I’m now in a two sewing machine family. One car, but two sewing machines. I think I’ve got my priorities right!

Oh and the best bit of all? When I told Dad I was going to put the money towards a new machine, he told me that my Granny would be very proud. She was a big sewer (even made her own wedding dress) and it means a lot that he thinks she’d be happy with what I’m doing right now 🙂

Busy busy busy

So you know those weekends where you just do. not. stop.?! Well I’m totally having one of those! After the small matter of purchasing a new, awesome sewing machine yesterday, did I sit down and so for the rest of the day? Nope. Am I planning to sit down and sew today? Nope.

So what is keeping me from locking myself in a room with my new machine and sewing for 24 hours solid?! Well, yesterday was crafty club and it wasn’t just normal crafty club (which is an evening of crafty goodness), it was an afternoon and evening! Four extra hours of craftyness and chat – bliss 🙂

I was thinking about finishing off the Quilt of Torture but now I have the Horizon, I’m going to finish it on that instead. (The fact that I’d been planning to finish the QoT on my other machine kinda shows how quickly I made the decision to get the Horizon. But more on that in another post!).

So yesterday I hand-sewed. Yes, I appreciate the irony of getting a new sewing machine and spending the day hand-sewing, but it was fun and I got my latest embroidery project finished. Here’s a sneak peak until I get around to deciding what to do with it…

Today I’m off catching up with friends, there’s assorted household chores that need* to be done and then hubby and I are having dinner with my folks, so that’s basically today all used up. Really, I don’t think I could have picked a worse weekend to get the Horizon if I’d tried!

I guess I could be playing now instead of blogging but the time it’s taken to write this would not have been long enough to unpack the box, so I think I just have to wait. Hmmmm, I wonder how much warning I need to give work if I want to take a day off?!!

* yes, I did evaluate to see if “need” could be reduced to “should” but I don’t think it’s possible!

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