Friday, 17 January 2014

The Joy of Handmade
I have always enjoyed making things "by hand", since I was little I have always got a kick from starting with a pile of stuff and ending with a pretty/useful/edible product.  Nowadays it is very trendy to be able to make things, not a necessity for most for us, as it was when my mum used to make mine and my sister's clothes.  It is no longer a cost effective way to clothe/feed ourselves, as cloth, wool and everything associated with the process is expensive.   However, like anyone who has tried making their own......., I know the joy it can bring. 
For Christmas 2013 I made my two close friend's gifts.  They each got a unique lovingly made cushion, and I crafted a doll for one of their littlies using wool a crochet hook and a little imagination.  So every time they rest their behinds they can think of me, mmmm not sure that sounds quite right but I think you get the idea. 

The most rewarding thing about this, was the gifts I received in return were also of the handmade variety.  Yes I have infected them with my love of creating, and proved to them that it is easy and really doesn't take that long.  Indeed , much to her horror one of my friend's now regularly says this phrase herself.  When I first urged her to take up crochet she wouldn't believe me but I have brought her over to the dark side.  I usually get my crochet or knitting done, of an evening in front of the tv, so time spent vegetating is also spent creating.  I think I have a slight obsession now and feel wrong if I simply sit and watch tv.
Made by hand does of course cover a multitude of "crafts".  My Mother-In-Law always make the most delicious cakes, and at special events she makes her choccy marble cake.  It has to be baked in the doughnut style tin, and it has to be covered in a thick layer of Cadbury's milk chocolate-yum.  If she simply bought a cake it just wouldn't be the same.

I was commissioned by said In-Law to make a baby blanket for her friend's new Grandchild.  So there is the other option.  If your simply not into the whole making thing i'm sure you will know some one who is, so go on ask if they can help, or visit one of the excellent handmade sites like Etsy or Folksy and support the growing Handmade businesses out there.

My little one enjoys a bit of creating too.  Whether it is with the Playdoh, or building a lighthouse with foghorn and light with his Dad (see weird photo below).

A great place to get inspiration for a bit of creating is Pinterest.  So for all those people I meet who say "I just don't have the imagination" I point them there.  My pal shared a fab pin of a button clock which I loved.  So I was thrilled when she made me one for  Christmas.  My other pal who is also a fan of the homemade,  has crafted me an objet d'art for the last two birthdays.  She is always embarrassed by her creations-who wouldn't love a crochet Satsuma cover, or a felt lipbalm cosy?  However, I appreciate these things as much as any other as I know that she has spent time and energy thinking about me and making them-so Thank you Blackbird and Wren, I was vey touched and loved my gifts!!!

Blackbird picks the loveliest handmade gifts from Folksy/Etsy when she hasn't time to craft, and I love these too.  Soo much nicer than a soulless box of smellies! 

This is the weird lighthouse, a happy afternoon spent fiddling with wiring, and it makes the most annoying noise when the foghorn is pressed-little person heaven!

And finally........handmade doesn't have to be forever, my little one loves nothing more than a couple of hours building lego with his Daddy, and Daddy is happy too!
Ps.  Not wanting to appear too smug or virtuous- just so you know my little one is currently being entertained by the tv!

Monday, 6 January 2014

 Blowing Away The Cobwebs

We have had a lovely time over the Christmas break this year.  We spent the Christmas week up with my sister and family, so my little one was spoilt by all his relatives and had a marvellous time playing with his big cousin.  His favourite thing when we go to stay is playing with his cousin's model railway.

We enjoyed lots of lovely food and company.  We had a rare afternoon just the two of us, as the Grandma's kindly looked after our little man, who knew buying the Christmas veg could be such a pleasant experience, just because you don't have to worry about your child getting bored/needing the loo/whining like a wounded animal for no reason etc etc.  We went to a local farm shop where my hubby was mistaken for a shop assistant/ farmer(he sports marvellous side burns) and asked for advice on how many sprouts a rather posh local should cook for her family.

After a lovely week with my folks, we enjoyed a lazy week at home.  It has been blissful, lots of long lie ins in bed, my hubby hasn't stayed in bed past 7am for the last year (building work etc).  We have enjoyed catching up on the Christmas tv in our cosy new room, its the only room in our house that retains heat so our living room has been sadly neglected.

  We have managed a few walks around the area, and made our annual trip on the North Norfolk Railway and a walk around Southwold on one of the few nice days. I have enjoyed looking at all my new craft books and made a start on a 1940s cardi, and have almost completed a blanket for a friend's new baby.  As well as practicing Tunisian crochet and 4 needle knitting (gifts from my crafty sis), so all in all it has been a fabulous break

We had a great day in Southwold, blowing away the cobwebs with a walk along the prom and lunch in the harbour cafe.  This is my house of choice for our new year visit-bit grander than usual but it faces straight out to sea so it had to be this one.

We have to have an obligatory shot of the lighthouse to start 2014, Happy New Year to you all!!!!