Thursday, 29 January 2009

It's a wrap

Thanks for the moral support in my last post on my poor household management skills. Without evidence though, I just can't believe that anyone else's drawer is as bad as mine. I've noted with interest Mary's and Jodz's before and after shots of their 'messy' drawers - problem is their 'before' looks like my 'after'! I've abandoned the task now as it was depressing me. I'll just never open that drawer again.

I've been doing other sorts of 'housekeeping' too, namely filling in my tax return and overhauling my shop. The tax return is now done, thanks to my husband's input - he of the superior excel skills - I knew there was a reason why I married a mathematician! It certainly wasn't for his domestic/practical skills. This week, he went out to paint a number on our brand new bright red wheelie bin for mixed recyclables only to discover the next morning that it had washed off in the rain as he'd used emulsion paint (just don't tell him I told you that)! But praise where praise is due, he made mincemeat of all those horrible currency conversions and fee deductions, and let's face it, you only really need one person in a household who knows the difference between oil- and water-based paints.

I also finished my Clapotis wrap/scarf this week. I haven't even blocked it yet and I've already worn it quite a lot. The silk blend yarn is so luscious and the colours are beautiful (good work Huw and Eleanor!). I think I might make another one as a Christmas gift for my mother this year in a different shade of the Manos yarn (getting ahead with the present list this year!).

Monday, 19 January 2009

Housewifery


brought to you by the shove-it-in-and-hope-for-the-best school
of home management


I haven't forgotten about this blog, I've just become embroiled in a spot of not-quite-Spring cleaning. I love seeing blog posts where you get a snapshot of someone's home and it looks like something out of a magazine. I'm a little envious of these pristine interiors, well-ordered and beautiful spaces. I'd struggle to find a beautiful corner of my own home to photograph. I think it has potential, but that maybe I'm not the person who is ever going to realise that potential. A case in point: the drawer of doom

I started on this drawer yesterday. Inside, I found no less than 3 chargers for old mobile phones. And a lot of balloons. And pens. And, for some unfathomable reason, chocolate coins. I haven't finished yet. The chocolate coins slowed me down a little.

Now I know everyone says they have a drawer like this in their home, but the point is that for most people it's just a drawer whereas my whole house is filled with drawers and cupboards like this! This week, I've been trying to take the problem in hand and do a bit of clearing and re-organising. I'd love to be able to show some photos of progress, but as I took my usual approach of tackling all the rooms in the house simultaneously, things are going to get a great deal worse before they get better ... Have I mentioned that I'm not a very good housewife?

On the plus side, I did manage to ice the Christmas cake on twelfth night, so very much at the eleventh hour. I'm thinking of it as a New Year's cake, though the children did insist on the Christmas decorations.


I also made a birthday present for my sister, again very much at the eleventh hour, though it did arrive in time for her birthday. It's a jewellery roll in some of my favourite Amy Butler prints.


I'm planning on making some more of these for the shop in different fabrics, and I might write up a tutorial for the blog if anyone's interested.


Other than the jewellery roll, my sewing machine has been a bit neglected over the past couple of weeks. Sewing for me inevitably involves a lot of clutter and threads all over the house, so I'm trying to get on top of the house before I introduce even more mess! There's been quite a lot of knitting since Christmas, being a rather more self-contained craft.

My brother and his girlfriend gave me two gorgeous skeins of Manos del Uruguay silk blend for Christmas and I'm knitting a Clapotis wrap/scarf for myself.


It's grown quite a lot this week

... that'll be housework avoidance, then!

Monday, 5 January 2009

Happy New Year

Ystradfellte, Wales

What happened to Christmas? I've finally emerged from the throes of a nasty winter bug to find it's been and gone without me taking much notice. And there was me confidently thinking I would spend less time asleep this year! Stunned to find I've entered the new year half a stone lighter without the usual Christmas indulgence. Oh well, I guess I'd better get started on that toblerone in the kitchen cupboard then, purely medicinal of course ... There's also that Christmas cake waiting to be iced, which I'm sure I'll make short work of.

It was lovely to spend the best part of the holidays with family, who did a stirling job of providing festive fun and entertainment for the children while I languished on the sofa. We managed a trip out to the sea while in Dorset with my husband's mum, then a trip into the Brecon Beacons whilst staying with my family in Wales. All good for the soul given that Berkshire, where we currently live, is sadly lacking in mountains and coastline! The scene you see in the photo at the beginning of the post was a real highlight - it was one of those beautiful crisp sunny winter days when we set out in the car, driving up the mountain roads bathed in sunlight, then suddenly descending into this ethereal frosty landscape suspended in mist in the valley. Just stunning!

I had a vaguely handmade Christmas this year, managing to pull off 4 gifts, though I had several more planned.
Liesl
There was the Liesl cardigan for my mother in law, some socks for my brother, fingerless mitts for his girlfriend, and an Amy Butler weekender for my mother.

Next year I've realised I'll need to start work a little earlier if I'm going to pull off the full list of handmade gifts. Still, the family members who missed out this time have January and February birthdays, so I can still make some of the things I had planned.

It's been a fairly productive year, crafting-wise. I'm now a seasoned veteran of 2 craft fairs, and have had my 100th etsy sale, but have also enjoyed making things for friends, family and even sometimes for myself! Here's a quick snapshot of some of my favourite makes from 2008 (I do love a mosaic)

I've really enjoyed this, my first full year of blogging. Its been such a pleasure to read everyone's comments, to be inspired by everyone's work and to make some new and very good friends.

Here's wishing you all a very happy new year for 2009!
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