Thursday, 29 September 2011

In disgrace!

Yes! Disgraceful behaviour from a cat who's on borrowed time. The cattery is just up the road and yesterday she was very lucky not to shipped back there - again! She's scrawny with a huge overbite, well, fangs. It's not as if she's pretty and cute. I could forgive her then, maybe.

Mr BC works from home sometimes. Yesterday he had a very important meeting with a man who drove a very flash car. I didn't see the very flash man because I was tackling a crocodile but I could hear him talking. Projections, investments, returns, profitability, blah, blah, blah for about an hour.

They met around the kitchen table, all the better for spreadsheets. Until Dizzy walked in through the patio doors. They were so busy they didn't see her. They did see the mouse that she flicked up onto the table and that landed, slap bang, in the middle of the spreadsheet.

The flash man has a very girly scream. It's followed with a very manly laugh.

Mr BC picked the mouse up and removed it to the place we use to dispose of the dead mice - the garden, its own special little grave. Calmly, so as not to frightened the flash man. Apologising and saying that she doesn't normally do this sort of thing.

No! Dizzy has never brought in a mouse before and will never manage to flip one with such skill again. Anyone want a very used black cat? She's only had three previous owners and two loooong stays in the rescue centre.

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Crocodile stitch

Don't ask me why I chose to do this on one of the hottest September days on record because 'I did' is the answer you'll get.

Ask me another - not on sport.

Ask me how crocodiles kill their prey.

Answer - they use leverage for killing. They bite down hard and twist off large chunks of meat. This is called, appropriately, the death roll. (Sorry vegetarians. I didn't mean to upset you.)

This is how I felt today. Like a poor wildebeest caught in the jaws of a crocodile. I brought it all on myself. Over at Etsy and Ravelry crochet crocodile stitch is everywhere. I exaggerate, of course, but it's a stitch that had me baffled. I don't want to make anything. The hats remind me of 1950s bathing caps with the fold over petals. I did quite fancy putting a few rows on the end of a plain scarf. Good for flipping over your shoulder.

Google came up with a few videos. With my trusty hook I sallied forth into the jaws of the crocodile! It ripped and twisted and got me all in a bother. My front was their back and my spikes were front and back. When I finally found instructions I could follow they kidnapped it and wanted money to release row 3 onwards.

Money? It's chains and trebles. It's not your stitch! It's not a pattern that's been designed by you!

I found the lovely Jenny at Yarn Muse who felt the same. Jenny has posted videos and written instructions for free. Yes, free! No money for tutorials passing hands.

Here's what it looks like in the hands of experts on Etsy

bkcraftstudio has a gorgeous apple green neckwarmer that shows you how the scales lie.

While Ebruk is thinking along the same lines as me. I love this for its simplicity and the colour

A special thanks to all of you who share your skills and expertise so freely. You know who you are!

Friday, 23 September 2011

Pantone colours


I love blue greys. I've painted my workroom cornflower blue because I find it relaxing and a good background colour. This combination by Tommy Hilfiger is just the sort of thing I want to wear. I'll be knitting some of these heavy duty jumpers and scarves. That's for sure!

Pantone's usual effusive description has not continued for this end of the spectrum. It calls its blue grey for fall/winter 2011, quarry and says of it,

Quarry, a reliable, medium gray, remains, as always, a practical, dependable staple.

Lack of imagination, or did they run out of adjectives with their other autumn colours?

Imagination is not lacking with the shops I've included today. There were so many gorgeous items I had to leave out but special mention goes to the best dressed dog I've seen in a while.

The pattern is available at Wendy M Handknits

I've included a lovely print by Gorjuss because it reminds me of Rolla. Enjoy!

Have a great weekend!

Saturday, 17 September 2011

Pantone colours

Coffee liqueúr

I've saved my favourites until last. Browns and neutrals work for me. I've always shied away from wearing colour but thankfully I'm over my black phase.

Pantone hasn't over enthused about this season's brown. It says,

rich, decadent coffee liqueúr brings a sense of elegance to fall, and is a savory alternative to basic black.

So there we have it. If Pantone says wear it instead of black then it shall be done. It's perfect for winter  with enough glow to add colour and can be accessorised with so many shades. I really enjoyed putting this treasury together. There were so many lovely items to choose from. Enjoy!

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, 15 September 2011

What's on my table?

You remember July? When I did the take one a day challenge?

I made the crochet frames. The blue one at the top was made from the Lola Nova tutorial that has since been published in Mollie Makes. They are popping up everywhere on Flickr now!

This week I've finished two new frames for my shop using an Edie Eckman border from Around the Corner.

The blue is made from an upcycled wooden curtain hoop.

This one is my favourite. I've used a lovely Monsoon metal bangle and pure wool. The photo is printed from Google images.

When I was clearing up I noticed that they fit well together. This is something I've got to work on.

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Oh dear! Update

To add to the giraffe Phil drew this,

No worries about that!

Am I a bad mother because I'm more concerned about the artwork on her leg?

Oh, dear!

When we went to London Beth complained, but not very much, about her foot. In fact, she hardly mentioned it at all. She'd already been to her doctor who said it might be tendon trouble, a ligament strain ....

She went back to her GP because it was no better. They sent her for an x ray and this is what they did.

Beth's leg

Plaster cast by the NHS
Illustration by Philip Morgan

They put the plaster on because she's broken her foot. She'd been walking around with a metatarsal fracture.

She didn't do it in London. In fact she doesn't know how she did it. The funny thing is we took a wrong turning on the drive through Chelsea and had to reverse in a side turning by the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital. We joked about the time when we spent several hours there after she had fallen down marble steps in the Victoria and Albert Museum.

It's a very long story that I won't bore you with but from that experience I've stuck off Harrods as a shopping destination. They swiped my credit card before they would 'lend' me a wheelchair for her. The staff were as unhelpful as possible unlike the staff at the Cafe Rouge across the way who were great.

The following time she went up she was knocked off her feet by an Italian tourist on Tower Bridge. The staff took her in and gave her first aid. Now, not many people can say they've been inside Tower Bridge.

All this to visit an exhibition at the Design Museum.

Good well soon, Beth!

Really, you couldn't make it up!

Monday, 12 September 2011


I was going to write this post yesterday but somehow it didn't seem appropriate 10 years after 11 September became 9/11.

I want to show you some of the photos I took in London last week. They're mainly of the South Bank's 60th anniversary celebration of the 1951 Festival of Britain. The festival was a countrywide event to boost morale and promote British industry, ingenuity and art in the wake of the Second World War. It was billed as "a tonic to the nation".

The urban fox on the roof of the Hayward Gallery is made from straw. It's difficult to imagine the scale but if I tell you it was brought to London on the back of two lorries you can begin to see what I mean. It fits into the Land of Britain theme, bringing countryside to London.

These are the backs of the beach huts that celebrate seaside life. I took the backs because even on a dreary day in London there are crowds everywhere.

The huts are there because believe it or not the foreshore of the Thames can be a surprisingly sandy. People use it to build sandcastles particularly near the Oxo Tower. In collaboration with Southend the beach huts have been erected and all have mini exhibitions inside.

As you can see the sun almost broke through the cloud making it a typical British day at the seaside.

Don't you just love the British weather? After the European monsoon we now have Hurricane Katia. No worries though. I've just watched the lovely Liam Dutton downgrade it to a very nasty storm!

I don't care Liam. I'm still not going out!

Saturday, 10 September 2011

Pantone colours


Phlox is another of Pantone's fall through to winter colours. It's described as,

a magical, deep purple with a hint of mystery, is an outstanding statement when worn on its own. Add Phlox to this season's neutrals to create a bit of drama, or combine it with Cedar, Deep Teal or Coffee Liqueúr for something extraordinary. To add even more excitement, pair Phlox with Honeysuckle or Bamboo against a Cedar background – a combination inspired by Mother Nature.

I've got to be honest and say that purple is not one of my favourite colours. I don't wear it but the right shade on the right person can look stunning. Is it odd that I quite like working with it? Looking at some of my work I can see that I've used it quite often.  This is because it's the darkest colour in the organic cotton yarn that I use. I think I might be more adventurous and use some of the colour combinations that Pantone has suggested.

Today's treasury includes members of the Etsian Artists team and shops new to Etsy. While some of the items are not strictly phlox I've chosen them because I like them.


Friday, 9 September 2011

Busy, busy

I've been busy with custom orders this week. They came from my Italian friend who is off to Italy to visit her father's family. She wanted two Queen Anne's lace scarves in different pinks.

I love the little popcorn flowers I used to decorate the boxes so that they don't get mixed up. If you love them too you'll find a great tutorial by Marilyn at Room on the left where inspiration doesn't turn to chaos but to gorgeousness. (Is that even a word?)

You know what I mean. Have a great weekend everyone.

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Picnic basket

Where am I?

It's been a long time since I went out with my picnic basket. There was just enough room to squeeze in a birthday chocolate cake for Rolla. Three guesses where I am.

Need another clue?

Maybe another?

It was  foul, wet, grey, with murky skies and constant rain, the day we went to .....

Thursday, 1 September 2011

Pantone Colours


A fitting colour for this time of the year. September is usually a month that promises more settled weather, warm days but chilly mornings and evenings. The Return of the Westerlies or the European Monsoon is over and autumn is on its way.

Pantone describes 17-1547 as

radiant emberglow, a traditional autumnal tone, emanates the
warmth of a glowing fire — the perfect panacea to the crisp air of fall.

I'm looking forward to some spectacular sunsets, great autumn shades and enjoying the outdoors.

As usual I have combed Etsy for items but before I show you those I've got to introduce you to Fred the Cat from City Road on Etsy. He didn't quite fit into the treasury but I love him and his mismatched eyes. He's very on trend with his emberglow and honeysuckle stripes. Don't you think?

So feast your eyes on emberglow and feel the warmth.