Friday, 29 January 2010

Still Here

Hello Lovelies,

So there's no Folksy Friday for me today. I'm recovering slowly but surely from surgery on Monday, but the painkillers I'm on are giving me major brain fuzz, so even writing a few sentences is taking major concentration.

I thought I'd just stop buy and say hi, thank those of you who wished me well and share with you the most amazing bunch of flowers I got from my family back in Wales:

The bouquet is so big that I've had to keep them in the packaging they came in and just keep topping up the water. Those lilies have really opened up now too so the house smells gorgeous!

Right well I'm off to try and get some more sleep - haven't been able to get much this week unfortunately. I'll be sure to check back in when my brain decides to behave itself again. See ya!

Friday, 22 January 2010

Folksy Friday

Mr Postman has made several visits to our house this week, and one day he handed me a little envelope sent from EdaMay. Inside was this lovely badge that I'd won in a blog giveaway - isn't it sweet??

Now unfortunately I'm having major camera problems so I've borrowed this pic from EdaMay's website, but I had intended to show you the gift tag it was pinned to with a lovely little message on it. Now all I have to do is decide where to pin it - any suggestions?

So for this weeks Folksy Friday I decided to stick to the badge theme and show you a few that I'd love to get my hands on. Here they are:

These lovely Russian doll fabric badges are also from EdaMay. There are lots of lovely things in her Folksy shop so go take a look.

Nikkimade recycles all manner of things to make her lovely badges. I chose this particular badge as our house is often full of Tunnock's Teacake wrappers - BF is partial to one or seven!

These gorgeous Vintage Button Badges are made by Asking for Trouble, who also makes cute Kawaii accessories.

I really do love tea so this is the perfect badge for me! Fluffy Thoughts also make cute prints and cards. Check them out.

Elementary my dear Watson! These Monocular D'Bean badges by FinestImaginary make me grin so much!! Check out the shop for quirky jewelry and brooches.

Well I hope everyone enjoys their friday and has a great weekend. I'm planning a busy one myself. Going to fill the freezer full of soups and stews, get all the laundry and ironing done and stock up on some good DVDs as I'm getting keyhole surgery done on monday so I'll be out of action for a while. It might mean me spending a bit of time away from blogland so please do bare with me - I'll be back I promise!

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

New Year's Resolutions Off To A Good Start.

So yesterday I managed to tick one of my New Year's Resolutions off the list. I was watching This Morning and a feature came on about making bread. It looked both yummy and do-able so I made a mental not to get on their website and copy the recipe. Then I went to make some lunch and of course all I find in the cupboard is the moulding end of a loaf so I thought why not bite the bullet and make some now??

I looked up the recipe and as luck would have it I had all of the ingredients in the cupboard already. Yay!! So I had a great time, kneading and rolling and throwing flour all over the kitchen, and all in all it was a success!

Now I'm not saying there weren't any hairy moments. First of all after I'd poured the water over the yeast and sugar and left it for 5 mins I noticed that most of the yeast had clumped in the bottom of the bowl and not mixed well. Nothing a quick stir couldn't fix. Then after I'd kneaded the dough for 10 mins and left it to rise for an hour I went to knock the air out of it only to find that it was pretty much the same size as it had been to begin with. So what do you do when your dough hasn't risen? Put in on the radiator! I have no idea if I was meant to do this but it seemed to have done the trick. And here she is, my very first lovely little loaf:

Isn't she beautiful? Now admittedly she doesn't quite look so perfect anymore - BF and I couldn't resist a buttery slice whilst she was still warm and then there was breakfast this morning, but I'm sure she will be the first of many - I've well and truly been bitten by the baking bug. Roll on the next recipe - there are variations for an amazing looking garlic bread and a fruit loaf with the bread recipe too so be sure to check them out.

Tuesday, 19 January 2010

Sunshine Blog Award!

So this morning I boot up the computer, go get a bowl of weetabix, open up my emails and what do I find? A lovely little blog notification saying that Sarah from Wrapped Up With String has nominated me for a Sunshine Blog Award. This has completely made my week! It is so reassuring to know that there are people out there who actually read, let alone enjoy my random musings!

The Sunshine Award is awarded to bloggers whose positivity and creativity inspires others in the blog world.
The rules for accepting this award:
- Put the logo on your blog or within your post.
- Pass the award onto 12 bloggers.
- Link the nominees within your post.
- Let the nominees know they have received this award by commenting on their blog.
- Share the love and link to the person from whom you received this award.

So my first thought when I read the part about passing the award along was "How am I going to find 12 people to give it to?!" but as soon as I realised the size of my blog list it soon turned into "How am I ever going to choose just 12?!"

So after much deliberation here they are, in no particular order, my most favourite blogs that I regularly read:

Dottie Angel - Tif's dealings with Mr Hook and lots of yummy yarn are always amusing and if ever I'm feeling a bit off I just click over to her "shiny space". When there you can't help but feel soothed and relaxed.

The Linen Cat - Beth's items are seriously sweet and her blog has inspired me to play around with linen. I'm usually a cotton girl through and through! Also I love her design scrap book and want to start something similar myself when I get up and running.

Curly Birdie - Quite simply, Maria is one of those people who makes me wish I had babies purely so that I could dress them in her adorable Crochet booties and hats. I'd recommend her handmades to any mum.

Lucy Kate Crafts - Amy makes the cutest softies - her blog is a felt haven and I love her tutorials. Well worth a visit for anyone not familiar with her blog!

The Rainbow Room - All of Claire's products are so vibrant. Her blog is like a virtual cure to SAD syndrome. I defy anyone who's having a bad day to pop over to her blog and not crack a smile.

Happy Zombie - Monica's items are so inspiring. The colours and fabrics that she uses are gorgeous and I love some of her more wacky designs!

She Draws - Laura designs and makes the loveliest handmade buttons. She also carves her own stamps and prints onto fabric. I love the illustrative style of her designs.

Don't Look Now - The most beautiful quilted items I have ever seen In my life. I am green with envy every time I pop over to Kellie's blog! There are some great tutorials there too. Go take a look!

Messy Jesse - Jessie sews the loveliest pouches, purses and rolls. Currently she's offering free worldwide shipping in her etsy shop so go take a look!

Attic 24 - Lucy's blog is hands down my favourite crochet blog. I love the vibrant yarn that she uses and her beautiful home adorned with cushions and throws has inspired me to do a bit of crocheting for me and my home this year.

Allsorts - Jenny creates the sweetest embroidery patterns, makes lovely dolls and stuffed toys and has some handy tutorials on her blog too. But the thing that impresses me the most is her marvelous craft workshop - I am green with envy!

The Royal Sisters - I am very jealous about Michelle's ability to make the loveliest crocheted cushions. Round and puffy, you just want to take a run and jump on one!

So there you have it - my top 12 blog list, all of whom are, in my opinion, well deserving of a lovely Sunshine Award. I hope they'll all be smiling as much as I am right now when they receive them. Happy Days!

Friday, 15 January 2010

Folksy Friday

Well Christmas is over and the house is looking bare, so I thought that my first ever Folksy Friday should showcase some lovely decorations to spruce up our houses and fill the post-festive void.

This lovely birdy is by The Linen Cat - I love the vibrant colours against the brown background.


This is one of the nicest russian doll fabrics I've come across and I love the idea of using embrodery hoops to frame wall hangings.  This piece is by Pegs Might Fly


Definately the most imaginative hanging that caught my eye today is this collage by Strangelord.  This cute birdie was made of recycled christmas decorations and ginger spice's boot!


 This adorable hanging would be perfect for a child's bedroom or door.  I love the colours!  It's made by Hollie Lollie and can be personalized too.

These vibrant little hangings are made by The Rainbow Room.  You can't help but smile when you look at them!

All this miserable weather we've been getting as well as the general post Christmas come down can leave us feeling a litlle blue, but these beauties should cheer us up in no time!  Happy Friday everyone.

Thursday, 14 January 2010

Top Gun and Baileys Ice Cream

Well I can hardly believe it but today BF and I are celebrating 4 years together.  Where did the time go?  I can vividly remember sitting nervously beside him watching Top Gun (his choice not mine!), sharing a tub of Bailey's ice cream.  Surely four whole years haven't passed since then??  Back then we were living 75 miles appart and only saw eachother at weekends.  Now we have a house together, get to wake up beside eachother every morning (and the odd afternoon!).

Squint and you'll see us at the Giant's Causeway!

Now I won't bore you with the woes of my life but I have to admit that I haven't had a great 3 - 3.5 years.  And without being horribly gushy I shall just say that things would have been a lot harder to cope with without him.  His cwtches and cups of tea always make me feel better!  

Our flags overlooking the beach I grew up on, taken when we visited the Cardigan Agricultural Show a couple of years ago.

If someone had told me four years ago about half the things that have happened or that I've done, the places I've been and the people I've met, I probably wouldn't have believed them.  But it's funny the way things turn out.  I can't wait to be back here in another four years, in awe of the things I haven't dreamed of doing yet!

But for now it's a day of relaxing, beautifying, defrosting, cooking, baking and then cinema going for me!

Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Happy Old New Year!

No I haven't gone crazy, or made a typo - I am actually wishing you a Happy Old New Year.  Why??  Well, when I was growing up one of my shcool friends always got January 13th off school.  The rest of us were always very green-eyed, and when asked why she got the day off she would answer that it was to celebrate "Hen Galan", or Old New Year.

Practically all of the children in her village - Cwm Gwaun, Pembrokeshire - would go from house to house singing a special New Year's song in exchange for a little money.  It's a tradition that (to my knowledge) countinues to this day and one that the whole community celebrates.

So I'm sure some of you are thinking that it's all well and good celebrating the new year 12 days after New Year's Day, but what's the point?  Well for reasons unknown to me the lovely people of Cwm Gwaun ignored the change to the Gregorian calendar in 1752 and still celebrate the Jordanian New Year, 12 days later.  Imagine if the Government announced that we were losing 12 days from the end of the year - needless to say it wouldn't go down too well!

How lovely is it that our small communities have these quirky traditions?  Happy Hen Galan everyone!

P.s Do you want to see the hat and gloves I knitted my sister for Christmas??  Here we are then:

Pretty isn't she?!  And here she is putting them to good use:

Monday, 11 January 2010

Lovely New Sewing Books!

Look at all the sewing lovelieness I got for Christmas:

Free and Easy Stitch Style - Poppy Treffry
Seams to Me - Anna Maria Horner
Sew! - Cath Kidson

Last-minute Patchwork and Quilted Gifts - Joelle Hoverson and Anna Williams
Pretty Little Patchwork - Lark Books
Sew and Stow - Betty Oppenheimer

Aren't I a lucky duck?  I can't wait to start sewing now.  They have joined the rest of my crafty books in my tiny craft room.  Look at my shiney new bookcase - Ikea's finest.  It's very orange and has quotes about love doodled all over it.  Lovely!

Saturday, 9 January 2010

Let it snow!

We've been really lucky with the weather up here in Derry.  It's only snowed three times this week and each time it's just been a dusting, but of course because of the sub-zero temperatures it hasn't thawed at all.  The roads are fine for the most part, the pavements are a bit scary, especially as it's all downhill to town from our house, but they've managed to keep the schools open and shops are well stocked.

The weather has had somewhat of an effect on us in Derry though - the Foyle has started to freeze over.  Apparantly it's only the third time in a century it's happened.  It's so strange to see huge sheets of ice floating down the river (sometimes with birds perched on top too!). 

Pics were taken by BFs Dad  yesterday.

I also can't get over the effect the weather has had on the trees here.  The snow has frozen onto the branches and trunks and not even gravity is having an effect on them.  It looks like someone has sprayed white glitter paint over everything - it's so beautiful!

 You can see the sparkly trees in the background.

I do realise that we're very lucky to be able to enjoy this cold weather, whilst others across the UK are having such trouble with it.  It isn't affecting our day-to-day routine, although it is having quite a negative effect on our heating bill!  Having said that we won ten bags of coal in a craft fair raffle last month so that's going to be a bit of a relief.  BF finally collected it today so there's been a fire raging in the hearth all evening.  I plan to spend the rest of the night in front of it with a good book and a glass of my Dad's homemade sloe gin.  Bliss!

I hope you all enjoy your weekends and stay safe and warm whilst this cold snap continues.  Goodnight!

Wednesday, 6 January 2010

New Year's Resolutions

Now I'm not usually one to bother with new year's resolutions but there are a few things I'd like to achieve this year, so here goes:

1: Get Crafty Jemima up and running. This one obviously is my priority. I have a few things left to do like sort out a new bank account, finish the business plan and make plenty of stock before I can officially start selling, so I'd better get busy!

2: Stay organized. I'm not going to be able to do any of this without being organized and tidy (yikes!). I need to find a place in my sewing room for everything and keep everything in it's place. I'm also going to have to work out a weekly routine and stick to it as best I can. Yikes again!!

3: Write to my Grandmother. It's something I always intend to do, but never get round to doing / posting. She says she would prefer to get a letter than a phone call, so I shall write to my Gran on the last Sunday of every month, scouts honour (Yes I actually was a Scout - well Cub Scout anyway)!

4: Be more colourful. The things I make are colourful but never the things I wear. For Christmas I got a few colourful hats, scarves and shawls so I thought I'd take my lead from them and jazz up the wardrobe a bit.

5: Bake. Now I'm pretty good in the kitchen, but there are a few things I've always wanted to make and never have. I want to be able to bake my own bread, to make Irish soda bread and to bake a carrot cake. I usually bake what everyone else likes - hence never having made a carrot cake - so it usually ends up being something chocolate flavoured, which I'm really not that keen on. Also I need to bake more frequently instead of buying rubbish with god knows what added to the recipe so that they last for months and months.

6: Take more photographs. Looking back over the past few years it's pathetic the amount of photographs I've taken. I only really get the camera out for special occasions, and then only if nobody else has one. So when I eventually buy my snazzy new camera I shall be snapping galore - promise!

7: Make things for me. I never ever make things to keep for myself. I either feel guilty about spending the money or taking the time to make something to keep when I could be selling it or giving it as a present. But I have a list of things that I want to make - some practical and some indulgent. I can't wait to start now!!

8: Finish reading books. Last year I started The Constant Gardener, Atonement, Lucky, and A Thousand Splendid Suns, all books I wanted to read, but didn't finish one of them. Mind you I did finish several others, but I've got to stop starting books before I finish the one before!

9: Take more time for me. That's another thing I feel completely guilty about. I spent the last year thinking that if I'm not making something then I'm wasting time, but I cannot dedicate every minute of the day to crafting or I'll start to get sick of it. I'm going to have to keep to designated working hours if I want to have the time to take long baths, to read for a while before going to sleep and go out for a drink with friends once in a while.

10: Learn something new. I'm undecided as to what I want to do yet, but it will probably be something practical. I'm one of those people who hates spending money on something I could do/make for myself. I quite fancy trying to make soap, or maybe some form of makeup? We'll see.

There we are - we'll see how I get on! This year's resolutions are ones that I actually want to do and should enjoy doing, so I should manage them without too much bother. Fingers crossed!

Monday, 4 January 2010

Happy New Year - Blwyddyn Newydd Dda!

Hello 2010! How did everyone enjoy their Christmas and new year celebrations? I made it back to Wales (just) for /Christmas, then back to Derry (just) for New Year's Eve. I was really lucky as the weather was bad both days that I was travelling, but in the end there wasn't a delay on either flight. Phew!

As BF and I were spending yet another Christmas apart (as yet we've never spent Christmas day together), we had a big dinner together about a week early. It was very yummy, even if I do say so myself. I of course made too much food but hey, Christmas comes but once a year right?

Then it was off to Bristol for lunch with my 4 sisters, before heading on to Wales for a much overdue catch-up with friends and family. Christmas was lovely - I spent a lot of time with my Gran, my parents and my sister. I ate a lot, didn't drink too much but was still very merry!

Then on boxing day I went for a spin with my parents to walk off some of the excess food we'd devoured the day before. Now I can honestly say that this is my favourite place on earth - Ceibwr. It's in north Pembrokeshire and there's nothing quite like sitting here on a really stormy day watching the sea crash against the cliffs. There's something quite comforting about this stretch of coastline. I often drove down there on my own but it's a place where I never feel lonely.

Anyway BF has reluctantly put off taking the Christmas tree down until tomorrow, so we've been constructing flat pack furniture over the past couple of days so I can get my craft room organized. The end of Christmas is so depressing - I need a distraction. And I have plenty to be getting on with!!

I'll be sure to put up some pics of the craft room when it's finished. My camera has decided that after 5 years of service it's going to abruptly retire, so I'll pretend that that's why I'm not putting a before shot up - I'm afraid it's gotten quite messy in there at the mo!