Saturday, 23 April 2011

Bags and Peppers and Stately Homes

Evening all.

Remember in my last post I showed the bag that I'd made? Well, in all honesty it wasn't that great (I purposely didn't show any close-ups of my questionable stitching), but I went to a friend's house and 2 other friends asked for bags of their own, and were willing to pay for the privilege. So the second and third bags needed to be a fair bit better than my own. Having made the first, I knew what I did wrong and was able to remedy some of these errors, and managed to produce this!

Genuinely quite impressed with my efforts. I put in a functional zip and everything! It was purchased by my lovely friend, and if that wasn't enough, she asked me if I would make a hat and slippers to match!
And this is the start of bag number 2. Really nice colours I think! Eventually the whole thing will have a brown border. The lining fabric is green with green and brown leaves, and when finished will look pretty similar in size and shape to the one above.
I also made myself a pair of the slippers that Hairy Face loves so much. These are mine, and after a couple of hours being worn in I can see why he doesn't take his off, they are seriously comfy!

On an un-crafty note, but relating back to earlier posts.... I have been trying to grow veg again. Well, touch wood, I have had slightly more success this time! Below is a picture of my pepper plant, with something growing that looks suspiciously like a real (if really small) pepper! VERY exciting!! It gets noticeably bigger every day. 2 days ago it was the size of a pea, and its now already almost an inch long. I'm hoping the other flowers (3 and counting) will also turn in to delicious home-grown goodness!

Yesterday, my Dad and I went to Dunham Massey. Absolutely beautiful. I'm in love with it. I love all National Trust properties, I love to wander round them and imagine huge flowing dresses sweeping through the rooms and servants scurrying unheard down uncarpeted and unpolished hallways, removing themselves to their cramped, basic quarters until they're required at the break of the next dawn. Grand carriages rolling down long, private driveways and unloading magnificently dressed cargo on the steps of the main entrance. I can get lost in my own imagination, especially in a house that lets you see so many of the rooms, unchanged for 100 years. Just beautiful. Definitely worth a trip if you're in the area. If I had the chance again, I would do a very different degree. Architectural History. I'd happily do my homework then!!

I think the kitchen was my favourite room. I say room, suite of rooms. Scullery, Chef's room, wet larder, meat larder, game larder, kitchen proper, butler's pantry, serving room. The kitchen has one of the biggest Agas ever built, commissioned specially for Dunham. There was also a wall to wall cast iron range, topped with copper pans and urns, with what look like individual bread ovens beneath. And on the table on the back wall, a HUGE Mason & Cash mixing bowl. Now I have to say, I have been wanting one of these for some while, I got quite excited (and jealous in equal measure) when I saw it. And I told my Dad so!

This morning I had a call at 9.15 from my Dad, asking if I would be at home in an hour... Little ominous. I said I would be, and sure enough, at 10.15, my Pa arrived, and handed me a (rather large and heavy) bag. In this bag, to my surprise and joy, was...
...a MASSIVE (15 inch diameter) Mason & Cash mixing bowl. He had seen one when shopping in town, and bought it for me! I know I'm a geek, but I was properly excited about it! I'm going to christen it with a double batch of banana bread. Yum!

Over the past few weeks, I have got into a very bad habit. Whenever I go into town, I seem to come back with a couple (or 5) balls of wool. Like I said, its a very bad habit and I need to get out of it. Not least because I have a LOT of wool, and it doesn't have a home. Well it does, but carrier bags down the side of my settee look so unsightly! I tried to remedy this today, and bought myself a hanging storage thing. I put it up, and filled it with my wool...
Not too bad. However, shortly after this photo was taken, the loop that it hangs from started to rip, so I had to take it down. My wool stash is too heavy! I need another solution... Any ideas?!

Take care, and good night!



Wednesday, 6 April 2011

In my absence...

...I've been busy!!

I have been baking, planting and crocheting like a good 'un!

I have planted various herbs in pots on my kitchen windowsill. Chives, basil, thyme, parsley, oregano, coriander, plus lavender and various salad leaves. I also have chili peppers and bell peppers growing, and starting to flower, woohoo!!

On the baking side, I have made some more banana bread, some more normal bread, some soups, some pies and the odd quiche.

On the crocheting side is where I have been busiest though!

First, I finished my blanket...

I won tickets to 'Sewing for Pleasure', (in a competition run on a website I am a big fan of - a fantastic fair with hundreds of stalls full of fabric, wool, paper crafts, sewing machines, craft books, more fabric, beads, jewellery findings, sewing bags, more paper crafts... Very much fun. Well, while there, I bought some blank cards (for later projects) 10 balls of yarn for £10 (bargain!) and some other bits and pieces. After I finished my blanket, I wanted to use my new wool for something, but couldn't really face starting another 48 hours of blanket making! So I decided on...

A new bag!
Lined and everything!

Obviously there are no close-ups of my stitching, because I'm still not very good, but I'm quite pleased with the bag all the same. The bag was finished within a week, so, seeing as I was on a roll I wanted another project quick! And I found this on ravelry - And from that, I managed to make these...

I didn't make them for anyone in particular, just to see if I could. But after I'd made one, Hairy Face asked to have them. He wore the one I had made until I finished its pair, at which point he popped that one on too! Excellent!

So that's all from me for now, hope you like!

Peggy xx