Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Santa Baby

Our baby boy is very tiny and as he was premature and growth restricted, it's difficult to get clothes to fit him nicely - especially hats! What with Christmas coming up, I wanted to create a festive hat to help keep him warm when out and about. 

This quick make is perfect for the forthcoming week.
This YouTube video helped me make the basic beanie hat...

I added simple ear flaps (decreasing stitches) to ensure he'll be nice and snug. And a long chain from each flap created an easy tie.
A simple (though far from perfect...) pom-pom added the finishing touch.
Happy Christmas! 

We know that ours will definitely be a very happy one!

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Thursday, 5 December 2013

Say Cheese!

What with Christmas and our little boy home from hospital, I know I will be using my camera a lot.
I haven't looked back since buying my DSLR. I am always happy with my images and it does so much of the hard work for me.

Most DSLRs come with a standard lens, but like me, many people choose to buy extra lenses - all for different desired shots - hoping to get the best results possible.
Retailers like Clifton Cameras sell a huge range of lenses, including Nikon lenses (like mine). Knowing which one you need can be difficult, so here's a quick guide...


These lenses capture more of the horizon in the frame, so they're great for those breathtaking landscape shots! The mm represents the focal length, with 21-35mm defined as wide angle and below 20mm classed as super-wide angle.

A fisheye lens is an ultra-wide angle lens that will give a fish bowl effect to your photos. They are great for capturing the sky beautifully! Check out this shot from Scott L Robertson Photography


These lenses are made for photography on the small scale. They magnify the tiniest details and are great for capturing every detail. Often you'll also require a tripod - a steady shot will reduce the risk of blurred close-ups. Nikon have put together a great gallery of macro images - see it here


These are great lenses for drawing focus to your subject and they have a shallow depth of field. Those between 50 - 100mm are usually used for portrait shots, while those exceeding 100mm are great for zooming in on wildlife.


Prime lenses have a fixed focal length, unlike zoom lenses which can alter theirs. Prime lenses are often lighter and smaller than zooms and make focusing and taking brighter photos easier. This is thanks to their large apertures. Zooms however offer more versatility and are an ideal purchase for the beginner.
If you have a thirst for more knowledge, then I would definitely recommend a photography course. I went on a course back in March and you can read all about it here

Friday, 22 November 2013

Living life to the Max

Back to the blog and introducing our baby boy Max...
He was born just over ten (yes that's right, ten!) weeks premature and after seven weeks in hospital, he is finally home.

He stopped growing in the womb and was better off out.

He was born just 1lb 12oz.
His stay in hospital felt like 7 months rather than 7 weeks!

Life in the Neonatal Unit was tough. Clinical. Scary. Alarms and leads everywhere. Every day the same - daunting.

Max was lucky; his stay in hospital was a steady one. He was in a incubator for 6 weeks. Then he was moved to a cot and within days he was ready for home.

He was discharged at 4lb 3oz, just 3 weeks before his due date. He is on various medication, but nothing we can't deal with at home.

Let the fun begin!

Thursday, 26 September 2013

Mitt's Autumn!

Crocheted Cluster Mitts ...
My latest make comes from this month's issue of Simply Crochet, which is full of ideas for Autumn. 

simply crochet magazine
The pattern was really simple and the mitts made up quickly and with ease.
I used chunky merino wool and the suggested 4mm hook.
To finish off, I edged the top of the mitts with some leftover wool from my PomPom Hat project.
An ideal make for this year's Christmas gifts. (Oops did I mention the 'C' word??!)

UPDATE: why not follow the designer's blog here and find out where to purchase the pattern...

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Saturday, 17 August 2013

Buggy Buddy

A simple pram/buggy blanket using Patons Fab DK wool and a 6mm hook.
It's my own pattern (I decided to just go for it and see how it worked out).
Ch to the length required and then sc into 2nd chain from hook
Row 1: **dc into next chain, then sc into the next chain; repeat from ** until the end of the row, ch 1 and turn
Row 2: sc into next stitch then follow Row 1
Repeat Row 2 for subsequent rows until desired blanket size.
Finally sc evenly around the blanket, twice.

(This youtube video is great at explaining where to place your stitches, especially on the sides of the blanket - ideal for the less experienced like myself)
My blanket measures 25 x 30 inches
I love how this wool has 4 colours in it; grey, blue, white and lilac - ideal for a boy or girl.

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Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Winter Warmer

This is my first attempt at a crocheted cardigan for our baby. He/She will be born at the beginning of the winter, so they'll need plenty of warm layers.
I have never crocheted clothing before, so this was a bit of a challenge.
The pattern was purchased from Kay's Creative Crochet - I bought it through Ravelry, so I was able to download it straight away.
There's instructions for various sizes and although I struggled with the pattern at first (I am not the best at reading patterns) a little guidance from my Mom got me through.
Hopefully I've made it well and it won't unravel!

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Monday, 17 June 2013

Star Bursting With Colour

Padded crocheted hanging hearts
I found this pattern on Bunny Mummy blogspot and had to have a go. There's many other great patterns on the site too - a great one to follow!

I sorted out some bold coloured wools - all double knit
Once I got to grips with crocheting again (it's amazing how much I've slowed down after just a short time away from the hook) the hearts came together quite quickly.
You could also use the heart as a pincushion... literally 'Pin It'!

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Monday, 10 June 2013

Back To My Teens

Since I was ten years old I have loved Bon Jovi. It all began when I copied a friend's cassette of 1988's album NEW JERSEY.
Over the years I have seen them so many times that I have lost count. As a teenage I bought albums, singles, posters and many t-shirts. Choosing a retro t-shirt for this week's gig took some time...
Even one from Milton Keynes 1993 - I won tickets for this concert in a magazine competition 
When I was young, I even met the band (dodgy photos alert!)
Back in May 1993, myself and my sister tracked them down to a quiet moated hotel on the outskirts of Birmingham. There, with just two other people, we waited for the band to come out and sign autographs for us...
That same day they had recorded parts of the video for the single 'I'll Sleep When I'm Dead' ...

This week I saw them live, here in Birmingham and I felt like a teenager all over again!

Friday, 7 June 2013

Bun In The Oven

It's been a while since I blogged and here's why...
They say the first few months can be very tiring. I am textbook! I have had little energy and have spent most of my spare time resting or sleeping. It feels like it's been work - sleep - work - sleep for so long.

It's been a long journey to get to where we are today. I miscarried triplets back in 2011 and until now we haven't been blessed. But after an operation and some medication, fingers and toes crossed, we're expecting this bundle in early December.

I worry every day. People say not to, but worrying is something natural that you can't control - if only we could! I guess I just have to roll with it.

To ease some of our anxieties, we had some early scans...

6 weeks the baby is tiny, but we heard it's heartbeat
9 weeks - looking more like a jellybaby!
and most recently, the scheduled 12 weeks scan - baby wouldn't keep still so a clearer image couldn't be taken
I am slowly getting some energy back, so I plan to get creative again... whilst I still have the time!

Thursday, 18 April 2013

A Zing For Life

Here's Zingy...
Star of the EDF TV adverts

I love Zingy and wanted my own, so I searched the net to find a crochet pattern. I found this one on Ravelry - just search for Tor Thorpe.

It was quite easy to follow and came together quickly. The pattern suggested white felt for the eyes, but typically I have every colour BUT white! So, I crocheted some white circles and used buttons for the pupils and a bead for the nose.
Zingy gets everywhere...
I'm obsessed...

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Sunday, 7 April 2013

Crochet Brulee

Mini Crocheted Votives…
The two individual Creme Brulees we bought didn’t last long with my husband around, so all I was left with was the small bowls they came in.


Using my current favourite wool, I crocheted some small jackets to make these plain bowls into attractive votives.

I simply did a chain to go around the circumference of the bowl and joined with a slip stitch.

Then I did rounds of half double crochets (hdc) until it was nearly big enough to cover the bowl, finishing with a round of single crochets (sc).


Quick and colourful.


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Saturday, 30 March 2013

He's A Lumberjack...

Simple and effective log cut coasters...
I've seen coasters like these in the shops and they are not cheap! So when my husband collected and cut up logs for our chimnea, it gave me an idea...
Of course, I needed his help to get this off the ground!
He cut me 4 'slices' from the log. They aren't quite the the same thickness, but we thought that made them more appealing.
I dusted them down with a brush and then I applied a layer of Mod Podge to seal them.
Finally, I cut out some felt circles and Mod Podge'd them to the underside of the coasters - something to project the furniture.
Really pleased with these, I love their rustic look.

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