Monday, 16 February 2015

Emma the Bunny

This weekend I made my first crochet toy from the lovely book 'Edward's Menagerie' by Kerry Long.

I was browsing crochet books on Amazon last year and added this one to my wishlist without a second thought, the little stuffed animals are so cute! My husband bought it for me for my birthday after employing a bit of my trademark subtle hinting for things I reaaaaaaally want. It involves bringing the thing up on my phone screen then holding the phone out with my elbow at full lock in his general direction. I then say the words "I'd LOVE this. I REALLY LIKE IT!" a few times. It works sometimes, give it a go.

As with most of the books I receive as gifts or buy, I give them an amount of time on my bookshelf before I pick them up. I see it as a type of maturing of the book, an initiation to the shelf before it is read. In other words, I usually get a book before I have thought through exactly when I'll have the time to read it and it sits there for a few months before I have a chance to have a flick through. But still.. maturing sounds better.

The news of two friends expecting babies this year has only heightened by crojo and I knew exactly what I was going to make for their little bundles of joy. Cue Edward's Menagerie and me being completely spoiled with choice. Although I consider myself an intermediate crocheter, I thought it best to start from the beginning and picked the very first pattern in the book as my first project Emma the Bunny.

In true Muddling Through style I of course did not have enough of the yarn I started with, so poor Emma has ended up with a patchy nose and stripey ears and limbs. She's still pretty though. I do struggle with sewing on the facial features (well, sewing in general is always a bit of an ordeal for me) and I still haven't really got a technique for attaching pieces to eachother.

Emma's head sort of leans down to the front and to the side, but I think it gives her a sweet little nod. I also over stuffed her tummy (story of my life) so she's a bit more upright than she should be.

Faults aside I loved making this little bunny and I hope she'll be very happy with her new owner in a few months time. And nobody can say she's not unique! :-)

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Crochet Mini Bunting

You might have guessed I've been on a bit of a crochet-athon this week and I've made a few sets of this lovely, bright mini bunting. I love how quick it is to make and that the colour combos are pretty much endless, you could have a massive spash of colour like I have or choose pastels for a more subtle shabby-chic look. I can never hold back enough for chic though!

I wanted to share this with you because once you know the basic crochet stitches (chain, slip stitch, double (US) / treble (UK) crochet) it's a quick and easy project to do. You can choose to have as many or as few pennants as you need depending on whatever the size of the thing you want to adorn with pretty bunting. I love to hang it from my dresser and make it look even more ridiculous than it already does, but you could have it hung across a mirror or fireplace or window. It also makes a lovely gift and I am posting some off to my penpals this week.

I received lots of lovely comments on Instagram and I wanted to give proper credit to Jacquie over at Bunny Mummy who put the hard work in to the pattern. Her blog is so lovely, with lots of free crochet patterns and beautiful photographs of her walks around Leicestershire. Jacquie's pattern is for big pennants, so I used just the first three rounds to make a mini version.

Amazing that just one more round transforms these circles to triangles!

I think my next little project will be a heart garland, perfect timing for Valentine's day on Saturday. I also found out this week that two of my friends are expecting babies in May and June, and my mind is awhir with tiny, cosy possibilities! It's so great having the bug back again (please stay!!) and I hope to get lots done during my week off for half term next week.

Monday, 9 February 2015

Actually Sewing with an Actual Sewing Machine

OMG.  I finally got my Christmas present out of it's box after being too afraid of ballsing it up. You see, even though I have wanted a sewing machine forever the fear of stringing it up wrong (technical term) kept me from taking the proverbial plunge. I was also scared of making a pig's ear of whatever project I tried to do because sewing is something I am dying to be really good at.  I don't want to blag it. I even bought myself a sewing book in preparation for the grand un-boxing of my shiny new toy, but I still felt I'd do it an injustice.

But this weekend I decided I'd been looking at those ill-fitting curtains for too long and, with a dramatic flail of my arms I shouted 'NAY!' and made for under the table in the utility room where my sewing machine has lived since about 5pm on Christmas day. I've gotta be honest, I was scared. Especially when I unfolded ALL the instructions. But once my double-vision cleared it was quite easy to thread the thing and get going. 

I threaded it, yay!

So I pinned my curtains up and ironed them so they were nice and neat, and away I went. Like a straight-stitching crackerjack I am. I actually took up our actual curtains. With my sewing machine. By myself. And I didn't balls it up! Hooray!

I'm itching to try something else now, but what to choose? I have some tweed left over from when I had AJ's waistcoat made for our wedding which would make a nice cushion cover (I thought it'd be a nice keepsake too?) and a about half a metre of floral fabric left over from when I lined my wedding suitcase. I have masses of bunting though so any other ideas of what to make with it would be much appreciated!

Sunday, 8 February 2015

My Sunday Photo

We had another lovely afternoon in Deal today, it's just so good for scootering, so I would like this pic of AJ to be my first entry into My Sunday Photo. 

It was crisp and cold, although with the wind at bay it felt much warmer than when we visited two weeks ago. Here are a few more from our walk today...

Our new favourite place to eat.
Silhouette of  Deal Castle


Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Lucky in Canterbury

It was Nick's birthday yesterday so we each took a day off work and went to Canterbury. I have had my eye on The Lady Luck for a couple of years, I love me a slightly sweaty rock pub, but (despite my heavy hinting to Nick) I still haven't been for a night out in Canterbury yet. So when I found out last week they not only did veggie but VEGAN bar food I knew exactly where I was taking Nick for his birthday lunch - because Nick's birthday is all about me, obvs! Just kidding (sort of). 

We went for a test drive in the morning and by the lunchtime we were really hungry, which I think can be as bad as it is good when you're going somewhere new for lunch. The hunger clouds judgment and before you know it irrational indecisiveness has set in and you're hangry and I was so excited to find there was in fact a selection of vegan menu choices, not just one thing, and I ummed and ahhhhed over what to choose. Oh the exquisite hardship of choice!!!

After much deliberation I went for the veggie chilli and potato wedges with a delicious strawberry soya shake. What a treat! And for extra gold stars I couldn't believe how clean and tidy it was in there, like I said I love a bit of a grungy pub so had prepared myself for food to match, but the place was bloody spotless (even the loos were gleaming) and the food was SO delicious! A winner, I say. A rock pub I'd take my mum to.  

If you're ever in Canterbury and want a cool place to eat, with friendly staff and a crackin' menu - definitely don't pass The Lady Luck by.  We're definitely going back!

*The Lady Luck banner at the top of this post has been borrowed from
The photo of The Lady Luck at the bottom of this post has been borrowed from*