Friday, 29 July 2016

Five On Friday

Welcome to the last Five On Friday before we break up for August, it is great to have you here!  Thank you for joining in.  We will reconvene on Friday 2nd September and I will try and remind you all - probably via Instagram - a few days before.

It has been so much fun reading all of your posts over the first part of the year.  Thank you so much for taking part.  I always try to remember to tell you how much I appreciate you all, and I really do mean it every time that I say it.  Without you it would just be me here posting and that wouldn't be anything like as much fun!

When we return in September I hope to have a new badge for Five On Friday and that we will all return with lots of things to share!

I am also planning for this to be my last post until September, although if something happens that I just cannot wait to share I might drop in a post or two, probably book reviews - of which more in a moment.

Thank you for all of your comments on my post about comments and blog visiting.  Your support was wonderful.  I have returned and replied to all of your comments, but I have taken your words to heart and although I have kept up with my blog reading, I haven't been commenting, safe in the knowledge that you understand!  Thank you for that.  It has allowed me to get on with some other things I needed to finish and take a little time out to relax.  I am looking forward to more of that in August and I know that it will renew me and I am grateful for your support in that.  When I come back it will be with vigour and joy and that will be a good thing!

I will be around on Instagram I am sure - link in the sidebar - posting snippets here and there.  It would be lovely if we could keep in touch if you are on IG over the summer, so come and follow me and I will then follow you back.  No pressure, I know that it isn't for everyone and trust me, I resisted for the longest time, but it is a lovely place - and very quick too just for those odd moments.

On with my five things in a just a moment, but before that I have to tell you that I have "upgraded" at the insistence of my computer to Windows 10, so if there are any glitches that is why!  So far so OK, but we still need to get to grips with each other!!  We are still arguing about photos.  I liked Windows 8.1 much better for photos!


A little making.  Do you remember I finished a tapestry cushion front earlier this year?  I decided that I would give it as a birthday gift to someone special.  This is what the finished front looked like. 

This is the envelope backing.  The fabric was a terror.  It frayed everywhere.  I knew that it would because my friend had made a jacket out of the same fabric and told me how it would behave but I was still very surprised at just how difficult it was to work with.  No matter, it is all done now!

I think that it looks pretty good.  The pattern isn't matched, but I don't think that matters on the back of a cushion and the design is busy enough that I don't suppose most people would notice anyway.  Overall I am pleased with it.  I just need to see if I can get a cushion to go into it before I need to give it away, if not, I will give it as is and let the recipient fill it themselves.

It is good to have something else finished!  I seem to be a on a roll of finishes at the moment, but I am saving the rest until September for you.


Above is a nearly finished, and below is a to be started.  I have had another finish this week and have also started something else, but that will be really quick to work on.  Just as well because I am working on a list of things I want to do!  Always a list!!!


Do you remember my yucca drama last year?  This plant - well, bits of it! - has been living with me for nearly 4 decades now.  Yes, really!  Last year we decided to cut the plant in two and repot it.  After we did so I was really worried that both pieces would die.  They didn't and are both thriving.  Thank goodness for that!!!

Not only are they thriving, this piece has flowered in spectacular fashion.  In fact, the flower is so heavy that I have had to stake it to hold it up.  It doesn't look elegant, but it would be a lot less elegant squished on the floor.

I love the creamy white flowers, but most of all I love the memories that this plant brings back for me.  They are so very precious.

Oh, and by the way, if you get ants on your yucca flowers, don't worry, that is quite normal.

A quick sunflower photo too because this will be gone by September!


I have lots of plans for the summer, crafting as I already said, and lots of reading!  I treated myself to more books - which I need like a hole in the you know where - but these are special because they are Persephone Books, which I adore.  I will share more when I have read them, but don't hold your breath in case it takes a while.  I might get distracted by all of the other books in my pile!


As I said, lots of plans for August, which rest assured do include lots of resting, but they also include some of these things.

A blog look refresh.
New Five On Friday badge.
Update/upgrade for the podcast production.
Finally sort out all of my photos.
Sort out the missing photos - still! - on my blog.
Upload patterns to the other shops where I do/want to sell them.
Pattern writing.

No doubt there will be many other things too!  If you do pop into my blog over the break though and see things changing around, this is why!

That is it.  Thank you as I already said for joining in, for your support and all round general wonderfulness.

I will be by to comment on all of your Five On Friday posts, otherwise I will see you in September!

Have a great August, whatever you are up to, or not up to, I just hope it will be fun and that you will enjoy it!



Friday, 22 July 2016

Five On Friday

A random mix this week and then on to some news and chat!

Also, in case you didn't get chance to, please pop by and read this post just so that you know where I am and what is happening - nothing bad, no need for panic!


This week I met the lovely - she really is really lovely! - Alessandra from the blog Homemade At My Place.  It was totally by chance that we met, she lives halfway around the world, but I happened to notice from an IG picture that suddenly she wasn't halfway round the world.  I commented, we PM'd back and forth and lo and behold managed to arrange to meet this week.

It was wonderful!  You know I love meeting bloggers and I haven't ever met one that I didn't like and once again I was so lucky, we just clicked and talked and talked - we both talked as much as each other which I love! - and had a great time.

Alessandra was travelling with her husband and family who sat at another table.  Goodness knows what they thought of us, but I think they enjoyed themselves - I hope that they did!  They were lovely too and it was a pleasure to meet them all. 

Not only are you wonderful Alessandra, your family are too!

Thank you so much for getting in touch, I am so pleased we could meet.  We will do it again next time you pass by this part of the world!

Oh, and we exchanged a small gift each, I gave Alessandra a brooch (she is wearing it in the first picture) and she gave me a pot stand - I think that is what it is, I forgot to ask!  We discussed mandalas at great length and I don't think it is a mandala, but I am sorry if it is!  I am using it in my kitchen because I have red and blue accents in there so it goes perfectly.  And actually it isn't being a pot stand, it is being a fruit bowl stand! 

So if you ever get the chance to meet a blogger, do it!  Be safe and tell someone you trust where you are going and when and when you will be back and only meet in a public place, but do it!


Plans afoot for another shawl.  A three colour version of Jo!  Perhaps in stripes,  or perhaps not...  we will see!


I have had this book for years - nay decades!  Literally.

I love it, it is one of my favourites and has been much read.

I also used to own this version on tape.

But I lent it to someone.  I bought this version instead.  Sadly a few months ago now one of the tapes died.  It sort of exploded and imploded on itself at the same time.  Very odd!

I looked for a new version on good old Amazon and e-bay, but couldn't find one.

Then, when I was going through the box of tapes that Lady had been listening to I found a full set of the tapes.  Not just any set.  My set.  The set I had lent her years ago.

I have reclaimed them!  They are mine again and reunited with the others.  I have been enjoying listening to it.  I recommend the book, you will not be able to get the tape and I am sorry, but I am not parting with mine again!


Just a little crafting ditty!  I made this fellow from a kit from Homemaker Magazine.  Cute hey!


This is the computer case I have been making for my husband.  It is all done and has been in use.  He is very pleased with it.  It is all lined and be and I are really happy with it.

I just noticed that it looks rather pulled out of shape in this photo.  Not sure why as it doesn't normally look like that!

Because I am feeling frivolous a gratuitous sixth shot of some of my shawls hanging on the back of the door!  Sorry!

Thank you for joining in Five On Friday, I hope that you have a great weekend whatever you are doing.

See you next Friday before we break up for August!


Amy xx


Thursday, 21 July 2016

Shop Update

A little update of what is currently in my Etsy shop for those of you who don't watch the Podcast, but want to see what I have been making!

Full details for each item and the P&P costs can be found in the listing on Etsy.  If you would like to purchase anything, please do so as soon as you are able because the shop will probably take a break during August and will return in September.

You can find the shop here.

Crochet Baskets - assorted colours, as pictured.  £16.00 each plus p&p

Project Bags - or just anything bags!  Slightly different sizes, £12.50 each plus p&p.

Progress Keepers, can also be used as stitch markers, £1.65 each plus p&p - which is drastically reduced if you purchase more than one.


Set of Five Stitch Markers £1.65 plus p&p - again postage reduced with additional items, more than one set available.

Thank you!


Admin and Housekeeping

I was going to pop this in my post tomorrow, but it didn't seem to fit and was a bit long so I will just link to it tomorrow instead.  I think it works better as a stand alone post.

So, just a few notes of admin and housekeeping!

Firstly of all, Five On Friday.

There will be no Five On Friday in August, I always take a break in August and this year will be the same.  So next week will be last one until September when we will start again on 2nd September.  I will try and remind you the week before, but the link will appear in any case so I am sure that will prompt you.

I hope we can all enjoy the summer and stop thinking in Fridays!

If you have read my blog for a long time you will know that I have struggled with replying to comments.  If you have specific questions I always try to reply, but I don't always get to reply to everyone because a lot of people, and more all the time it seems, are no reply bloggers.

Going forward I will try and reply to all comments in the comments, so do go back and look to see if I have left you a message!  I will try and do this every couple of days, so if the reply isn't there immediately do look another time.  I have replied to comments from the last week if you want to go and see what I have said.

Also in the vein of comments, I find that it is getting harder and harder to comment on all of your blogs all of the time.  Up until recently I have tried to comment on every single one of your posts.  Not in a stalkerish way - I hope! - but in a friendly way.  However, I cannot always manage it now that I am busier working and with everything else that I have going on in life.  Just like you do!

I hope that you will therefore please excuse me if I don't always comment on all of your posts.  I hope that will not stop you from visiting me, and please don't think that I am not visiting and reading your posts, I might just not always say so! 

This is really really difficult for me.  I struggle with it a lot.  I feel that I should read and comment on every single post of everyone whose blog I read, and everyone who comes and comments here, but it really isn't possible.  I feel terrible guilt though and as though you will be upset, but finally something has had to give.

So please forgive me and don't be cross!  I hope that the replying to your comments here will help with our bloggy relationship!

Moving on from thinking about time, I said in the last podcast that I would be back in two or three weeks, and I may be, but I am also thinking of taking August off from that too.  I hope that you will bear with me if I do, but again, I just need some time!

Finally, I have been having a bit of a tidy up in Bloglovin as I was finding it difficult with all of the blogs I follow.  I realised that there were a lot of blogs on my list that are no longer active - and sadly when I went and checked quite a few that no longer even exist - so I have deleted them which means that I am no longer following them.  If I have accidentally unfollowed you and your blog is still active please can you drop me an e-mail and let me know so that I can pick you up again.  If I did unfollow and you are still active it really was by accident!

My hope is that by having just the blogs that are active on the list I can easily see who has posted and keep in touch with you more easily.

During August I am not sure if I will also blog as I usually do or less, but I will still be around and will definitely return in September.  I am not stopping blogging, this is just a summer break.

Also I haven't decided if I will keep my Etsy shop open during August or not.  I am going to do another - sorry, two in one day which really is very very rare for me - post in moment of the things I currently have, so if you want to order something please feel free to do so and then if I do put the shop into holiday mode during August you will not be waiting.

The shop will reopen again and the pattern shop on Ravelry remains open all of the time because you are purchasing an automatic PDF download so it doesn't matter if I am not around or not.

Sorry if this is rather rambly, you can see why I wanted to write it as a separate post!

I am terrified that saying all of this will somehow cause the most terrible offence and that you will all run off, but please don't take offence.  It isn't because I don't want to be in touch, or don't care.  I care deeply, but I need a little rest!

Thank you for understanding!  See you tomorrow, and next week - and shortly with that shop post of course! - and then we will see each other in September for sure even if we don't see each other so much in August!

Love to you all, from my home to yours!

Amy  xx

Wednesday, 20 July 2016

Ta Dah! Meg Shawl

I am thrilled to be able to tell you that the Meg Shawl is now completed!!  Yay!!  Want to see it?  Don't worry there are 1000 few pictures in this post.

You can find out the background to this series of shawls by reading this post or watching the podcast where I explain all.

There is one shawl for each of the characters from the book Little Women, Beth, Amy, Jo and finally, Meg.

Here it is!

This is a VERY big shawl, but it can easily be made smaller.  It isn't very wide, but it is quite long.  However...  because it is narrower at the ends it allows you to just leave those dangling around your neck.  You will see in the pattern how you can adapt it to the size you want.

If you know the story you may recall that Meg married John Brooke, who was Laurie's tutor, in the garden of the March's home under an arbour.  The design of this shawl reminds me of the arbour and the beautiful flowers and plants that I saw growing in the gardens of Orchard House when I visited it.

Hence the dangles.  Oh yes.  Lots of dangles!!  I am going to love the dangles on this one.  If they aren't for you it doesn't matter, you can easily leave them off.

So, that is it.  The four patterns are now done.  I was planning a variation of the Jo Shawl, but I have decided to go a different way with it and the design is now so different that I will give it a different name than the "Jo Variant".

Here are a few more photos!

My husband asked, what next then?  Well, I replied, I have mandalas a go go to write the patterns up for and then I will take a break.  Of course since then I have had more ideas....

I do hope you enjoy this shawl and if you want to purchase the pattern you can click here.

To remind you in case you have been waiting to see all four shawls before making your choice as to which pattern to purchase here they are all together!








Happy crochet and thank you so much for your support!  As an independent designer it is so good to have your support and your feedback and to know that you enjoy my work!