Sunday 31 August 2014

Pinwheel Pot Holder

If you read crochet blogs, then you will read Sandra's Cherry Heart.  And if you don't, you will once you check it out!

Last week she posted the most gorgeous pot holder.  I could say that it influenced my pot holder above, but it didn't just influence it.  I completely and blatantly copied it as closely as possible!  If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

I'd seen these online here and there before, but it was only seeing Sandra's in those beautiful colours that made me need to make one.

I'd not done any crocheting for a while - the Lumberjack said he was worried about me the other day!  (The hall, stairs, landing and spare-room decoration is underway, so things are all chaotic and I've not been in the right frame of mind for crafting.)  This was the push I needed, though, and I dug out my cotton and bamboo cotton stash (and an acrylic yellow) and got crocheting!

I used the pattern that Sandra linked to, but made alterations so that it matched Sandra's pot holder.  These are the changes I made:

  • To change the pinwheel to 6 points/petals (rather than the 7 in the pattern), I did 11 dc into the initial ring, rather than 13.  That gives you 12 dc (if you count the ch 3 as the first dc).  Then follow the directions but create 6 petals, which will happen naturally as you've got 12 rather than 14 stitches into the ring.
  • The pattern then says to do 4 rows, but I continued on in the same way until I'd done 6 rows.
  • Then I did the round of sc around the whole shape.  The pattern says to crochet two petals together at the tip of the fold.  I didn't actually crochet the stitches together, though, I sc them individually as I went round.  (I think if they'd been crocheted together the gaps between petals would have closed up more, so it depends on what look you're after.)  For an idea of how far down I crocheted on each petal, I went up to and including the 9th stitch on each side of the stitch at the tip of the point.
  • I then did a second round of sc around the whole shape, not in the pattern.  I started at one petal point, where I chained 10 to create a loop.  I then sc around the shape until I got back to the initial point, then sc 10 around my ch 10 loop to finish off.  In hindsight, the loop could have been a bit bigger.
Now I've just got to find somewhere to hang it.  (Rest assured, no dirty old pot is coming anywhere near it!)

Thanks to Sandra for her blog full of beautiful inspiration.  I hope you don't mind me copying you so completely!

Thanks to all who read and comment here - I always enjoy reading your comments.  It was interesting to hear your views on my last post, and I think I might try to introduce a little touch of gold here and there in my home!

Thursday 21 August 2014

Influences: Gold

I was looking for a birthday card for the Lumberjack's Mum the other day, and fell in love with this beautiful card.  It got me thinking about how much I've been loving gold accents lately.

I'm not sure how this happened as I've always been very much a "silver person".  I wear silver jewellery and throughout my life I've always preferred silver to gold; I've never been that keen on gold at all.  However, over the last few months/years (I forget how long, time passes so quickly!) I've found myself loving the warm lively effect that gold accents can give.  I've seen it used so beautifully in homes on so many blogs.  It makes me question how influenced I am by the current trends.  It seems that as gold became popular and on trend, I've gradually started to like it.  Does continued exposure to something cause it to seep into our brains and our tastes until we end up liking it despite ourselves?!

I've never been a person to like something just because it's fashionable or trendy - it seems crazy to dress or decorate your home in a certain way just because it's on trend, when it may not even be to your personal taste.  But I have noticed that sometimes my opinions change and I start to like these things I keep seeing around me.  Am I that suggestible?!  Do you find your tastes changing along with the current trends?  (Not all of them of course - there are some that I'll never come around to!)

Well, I guess that if I like, I like it, and it doesn't really matter why!  Just go with the flow, eh?  (Although, I am fighting it - it feels like I'd be cheating on silver!!!)

Maybe I should give gold a go and see whether I can bring some gold accents into my home.  I'm not quite sure how, though!  (You can see I've been playing around with the few goldy items I have!)  I wouldn't want to get rid of all my silver coloured bits and they feature quite a lot - handles on things, lamp stands, etc.  What do you think, can you have gold and silver together or would it look wrong?  (I don't know why I'm so cautious about it - I guess it's because it's something I've not tried before!)

If anyone has any pearls of wisdom, I would be grateful to hear them!

Wednesday 13 August 2014

Crochet Coasters

Crochet coasters are one thing I've not yet made... I'm not sure why.  They're a good way to try out a few new ideas and must be pretty speedy to whip up... and we all like a quick crochet fix!

I had a subscription to Simply Crochet for a few months.  (I'm not usually a magazine person, but there was a bargainous offer on, so I thought I'd give it a go)  I'm not subscribing any more, as I felt a lot of the items I wouldn't ever make, but there were a few tempting projects.  One such being these lovely summery fruit coasters in issue nineteen:

What do you think?  Very cheery and fun!  I'm definitely tempted to give them a go - I've been checking out my yarn stash for the right colours.  If you're interested yourself and haven't got the magazine, I've also found free patterns for some similar ones over at Repeat Crafter Me - including a cute pear!

It got me thinking, though... these are very summery, but what about when summer is over?  (Sorry, I'm not wishing the summer away just yet!)  I was struck with the idea of seasonal coasters!  So how about some pumpkin coasters - I found a free pattern by Habitual Homebody for these great ones...

Picture via Habitual Homebody

And I love these beautiful autumnal leaf coasters...

Picture via Crochet Spot

The pattern for these can be purchased here.

I think I'll start with the fruity ones first, as I'm still in summer mode - despite the funny weather we've had the last few days.  (Although I do love a good storm every once in a while!)

Of course, there are so many gorgeous patterns for pretty everyday coasters - the possibilities are endless, how do you pick?!  I've been pinning some lovely inspiration to my Crochet Pinterest Board, so take a look if you're feeling the coaster obsession!

Have you made any crochet coasters?  Do you have any pattern ideas for me?  Let's share the coaster love!

Monday 11 August 2014

Organisation: Clothes Drawers

Hello!  I have been busy this weekend, having a big clear-out of my bedroom chest of drawers.  I'd had enough of having to squeeze my clothes into any tiny available space in the crumpled jumbled mess within these drawers.  That was when I could be bothered with the struggle, and didn't just dump them on the floor!

There are three drawers in my Ikea Hemnes chest - the top one is for underwear and I organised that a while back using Ikea Skubb Boxes:

I won't traumatise you with pictures of my unmentionables (is that a communal sigh of relief I hear?!) so let's get onto the other two drawers...

I'm afraid I didn't take a picture of the drawers before - I was too impassioned by my quest for less chaos to hang around taking photos!  But here are the clothes emptied out onto the bed (they didn't look much different in the drawers, just a bit more squueeezed):

That was a quick mobile phone snap for Instagram - yes, I'm on Instagram... come find and follow me here!  (Oh, and that isn't my bedding - I'd taken it off to wash and hadn't put a new set on yet.)

That pile of clothes is deeper than it looks.  After some intense ruthlessness, I weeded out this pretty big stack to donate to charity:

I actually feel exhilarated looking at that!  All that space being sucked away by items that weren't being used or enjoyed, yet were making my everyday life more annoying every time I tried to find something in those drawers.  (Maybe 3 or 4 bits in that pile are from my wardrobe, but the rest are from the drawers)

Questions I asked myself during the clear out:

  1. Does it fit?  There were a curious number of clothes which appeared to be shrinking all of a sudden.  There seems to be a correlation between my cake-eating and clothes-shrinkage - what a strange coincidence!!  Life's a funny old thing.
  2. Is it comfortable?  Some clothes are so annoying or uncomfortable that they're just not worth it - who needs to willingly spend the day feeling uncomfortable?  Get rid!
  3. Do I feel good when I wear it?  There are items here which fit me fine.  I've clung onto them because they fit and there's nothing really wrong with them, but I've never felt good wearing them.  When I do wear them, it's just because they're there and I can't find anything else to wear.  No more!
  4. Does it look old and worn (and/or dated)?  Some clothes, which were great once, have been worn to death.  I have a habit of keeping and wearing clothes for many many years.  We're not even talking expensive classic pieces here (I don't own such things!) but cheap cheerful clothes that I've been wearing for sometimes up to 12 years and are well past their best!  It's time to say good-bye.
(All that being said... I think that yellow floral top perched on the stack is coming back into my wardrobe!  Maybe I'm not quiet ready to let go of that one yet.  I don't feel quite comfortable in it, but the fabric is so cheery and pretty!  That is not the attitude.)

This is what I was left with:

I used more Skubb boxes and organised as above.  Maybe the boxes with jumpers in should have been next to each other, but I liked the symmetry of having them on each side.  Can you spot my Christmas jumper?!  Ho ho ho!  I stacked them vertically so that I can see easily what I've got, and (hopefully) avoid messing everything up every time I take an item out.

My basic tops are tight stretchy long and short sleeved tops that I'd normally wear under things.

I'm rather lacking in t-shirts since the purge - and, to be honest, not all of those left are that great.  But I had to make some allowances, or I'd be wandering around naked.  And I know, they're not folded very well - they weren't cooperating and I lost patience!

You can see that there is quite a bit of room at the back.  The drawers only open this far, though, so it's difficult to get to when using the boxes, so maybe that is a downside of them.  But I'm sure I'll end up using the space for something.  Although, in my underwear drawer, I've used more boxes and filled the whole drawer space - they work very well to separate/group socks, tights, knickers, bras etc.  I just put the least used items in the boxes at the back.

And the other drawer:

Pretty self-explanatory.  I stacked these on top of each other because I'd run out of boxes and because I didn't think it mattered so much for these clothes - but whether it will stay tidy remains to be seen.

The Lumberjack laughed when I pointed out my 'sports wear' section.  I'm not really the sporty type!  I've been "going to Zumba" with my sister-in-law for nearly 11 months - and I've been... 11 times!  The clothes I wear are ancient - really they should have been purged, but I should get some replacements first!  (Although, that might be a good excuse not to go...??  I'm kidding, ahem!)  That pink hoody isn't even sports wear - I wear it any old time.

And my fleecy monkey pyjamas - ahhh, cosy!  The Lumberjack wasn't too enthralled to see the fleece had survived the clear out... I mean, you trying to tell me fleece isn't sexy??

The clothes in my drawers are quite boring, but my nicer more interesting clothes (what little I have) are hung in the wardrobe - I guess the next step is to get ruthless in there!

Well, I'm exhausted from writing this long waffley post - perhaps I've included far too much information and no-one is really interested?!  But hey, it's done now!

Oh, and I don't think I mentioned before, but I have a button in my side-bar to follow me via Bloglovin' - or you can click on the link... Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Until next time...

Sunday 3 August 2014

Pink Lemonade and Chocolate Cornflake Cakes Recipe

These chocolate cornflake cakes are amazing.  Quite possibly the best I've ever tasted - at least on a par with those my sister-in-law's Mum makes, and they are incredible.  I may need a tray of hers and a tray of mine in order to carry out a full comparison.  It's a tough job, but I'm up to the challenge!

This is how you make them:

100g milk chocolate
50g dark chocolate
75g of unsalted butter
6 tbsp golden syrup
120g cornflakes

Makes about 15 to 18 depending on how big you make them...


  • Melt the chocolate, butter and golden syrup together.
  • Add the cornflakes and mix until coated.
  • Put spoonfuls of the mixture into cake cases and leave in the fridge to set.

In this weather I've been storing them in the fridge, even after they're set.  Their chewy chocolatey-ness contrasts nicely with the crunch of the cornflakes - scrumptious!

I also made some pink lemonade last weekend, using a recipe from Peggy Porschen's Boutique Baking, given to me by my friend Anna.

It was so refreshing and delicious, perfect for this hot weather.  The sweet peas are picked from our garden - they just keep coming, and we have a constant little posy of them in the house.  So pretty.

Only one glass in this picture - the Lumberjack got fed up of me taking photos and just wanted to drink his lemonade!

You may have noticed that I have been working on the menu bar at the top of the page, under my heading.  I now have pages for different categories - sewing, crochet, home improvements etc.  It's a great way to be able to have a browse through any area you're interested in.  From my point of view, I love being able to see all my projects at a glance, and reminding myself of the things I've made.  So, go on, have a snoop around!

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