Thursday, 3 March 2011

The Challenge of the Utmost Kind

 There's a definite feeling of Spring in the air. Though it's nippy out there, the days are longer and the light has changed. It's a much better time to take photographs, though I can't guarantee my snaps will improve any. I wish I could take pictures, I have a decent enough digital camera, I just need to learn how to use it properly. I stumbled across this lovely blog the other day: beth retro dreams. She takes stunning, dreamy pictures- very Tim Walker. Please show her much love, her photos really are amazing. 
Blogland is very much at the forefront of my mind this week. I've been overwhelmed by the support shown to me for my decision to take up the dottie angel challenge of the utmost kind. I emailed her the other day and sent a lovely reply which really helped spur me on.
 As you can see I already have my sewing kit ready, safely installed in a cake tin I bought a while ago now. The kit needed a tin, and in the spirit of all things thrifty, I said 'I know! I have tins aplenty'. And so now my odds and ends and bits and bobs live in the union jack tin. 
Above is a small selection of my yarn stash, in readiness for all sorts of home-made goodies.The half-finished cushion cover has been rediscovered and I'm showing it some love tonight by finishing one side then cracking on with the other. I still have the vintage stripe baby blanket for little Olivia to finish but I will require more yarn for that, perhaps purchased on a little trip to town tomorrow.
 The books above are going to be inspiration and indeed motivation for the challenge. I need to yearn for beautiful things, and I also need somewhere to turn to when I see something on a website or magazine and get a serious case of the Wanties. I can turn to these lovely books and find stuff to give me the wanties in there too.
 This was a birthday present from D. I just love this spread. I'd love a great big dresser heaving with unneccesary yet beautiful things. What was it William Morris said? Something like have nothing in your home that you know to be useful and think to be beautiful. Well this beauty covers both of those angles.
 With my new knitting skills (Hannah was very impressed with my practice sample!) I'm going to make this. Lovely! I'm got the Rowan pure wool my little brother got for Christmas to use, I just need one extra colour and I have everything I need. How exciting! I do love a tea cosy. I've planned a crafternoon with some friends in a couple of Sundays time with tea, yarn and cake. A knit and a natter. How terribly rock n roll.
 Of course, I know that this challenge will not be easy. There will be exceptions, and Tif (dottie angel) said that it's fine to have exceptions, the challenge is all about getting creative and having fun. Of course the baby will be the main exception- he'll need new clothes etc. Though we have been very thrifty so far. We were given the pram/pushchair, car seat, crib, rocking chair and a set of lovely nursery furniture (not yet even picked up, we need a house!). As well as mountains of clothes and toys! I've planned a cowboy theme for his nursery- Cath Kidston calling. I've been making a list of a few purchases from CK for a while too- a couple of pillowcases to replace my fading, mascara-stained favourites, a dress and some oilcloth for my 1950s cabinet. And now I have literally cleared out a good two thirds of my wardrobe, I need to replace some basics- bras, tights, tops from H&M. Besides that I intend to chazz it up quite a lot. And even slim down so I fit in my pre-baby clothes! The house needs some new bits when we get there- a new sofa from the big blue Swedish place, an extra CD rack and bookcase to match our existing. But I think the rest I'd definitely like second hand. I'm after stools, chairs and cupboards to paint and revive and fabric to make curtains etc. This is going to be a lot of fun! I just need a sewing machine. So if your granny or mum has an old one she is getting rid of, do let me know! I am happy to have it serviced and made to work again if it's knackered.
And this is the result of the past few days crafting. Eight lovely flowers, crocheted in Sirdar luxury soft cotton. The pattern is from Yvonn's blog-here- and they are easy to make once you've made one or two. Now I planned for these to be coasters, but we have plenty of coasters. I feel that they are somehow designed for another purpose. But what? I need suggestions. D suggested a table runner but I am not convinced. One day I'll crochet a big white bedspread out of these, like my mum's. But what to do with these colourful ones? I need your help.


  1. absolutely loved reading this, i read every word :) thanks for mentioning me too, that's so sweet of you :) funny how much we have in common... the crafternoon is my idea of a good time! and in fact that's what i spent today doing. i spent the day with two of my favourite friends just knitting and doing all sorts of crafts, eating homemade chocolate cookies and strawberries and drinking coffee and tea. i love it! it's so great having friends who you can do that with these days.. it's the future. you and dotti angel have really inspired me with this challenge, i will probably take it up too, since i'm very nearly already doing it lol. i'm majorly into vintage/charity shopping and about to open a shop selling that kind of thing on etsy too, so i'm looking more than ever :)

    as for those lovely flowers you made, how about making them into brooches? you could back them with felt or something if necessary and it's really easy to sew on pins to the back then :) i've never done crochet and i just have to try it sometime! the flowers you've made are amazing.

    great idea to use a tin for craft stuff. it's a great tin too!

    anyway have a lovely evening :)

    beth x

  2. p.s. i have been amazed by the blogging world too. i started blogging on here a while ago but didn't have time to do it more than 2 or 3 times. but now i've got into it properly i've found it totally amazing!


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