A good old fashioned letter

It seems that these days my letter box’s diet mostly consists of junk mail. Yuck. I can almost hear it sigh with disappointment each morning after the postman has done his rounds. But, every now and again, something wonderful happens. I open up the lowly letter box expecting the usual unwanted rubbish to find a hand written envelope addressed to me! It makes my letter box very happy, and I get a little flutter in my heart and an excited feeling in my tummy.

Image by Dancing With Dandelionsss

You just don’t get that same feeling of excitement from an email, and sadly these days I get far more of those than I do handwritten cards or letters, and this makes me and my letterbox sad. I love the internet, but I despise how impersonal it can be. So, this year, I pledge to write more letters and cards to my friends and family in the hope that I can give them that same little buzz of excitement that I get when I receive proper post instead of the usual junk. I want to revive the joy that a letter can bring, a dying art in a modern technology driven world.

A beautiful letter writing set by Papelidades

 What better way to start my new letter writing project than with some brand new, very cute letter writing stationary! I absolutely love, love, love stationary! In fact, I have a little bit of an unhealthy obsession with it… anywho, thanks to some very talented, generous and wonderful people out there in blogland, you can download an arrary of different letter writing kits and note cards for absolutely free. Thats right, FREE! I love free, it’s my favoruite price because I am a poor and lowly student. You can download the above letter writng set, courtesy of Papelides, for free, by clicking here.

Another wonderful free letter set from Papalidades

Another wonderful free letter set from Papalidades

 You can get this one, also by Papelidades by clicking here.

Free printable Thank You letters courtesy of How About Oange

These gorgeous brightly coloured thank you letters are available for free from How About Orange by clicking here.

A fabulous free note card and envelope set courtesy of Eat Drink Chic

 And lastly this whimsical greeting card set is available to download for free thanks to Eat Drink Chic by clicking here.

I can’t wait to get started!  My first letter will be to my cousin Natasha to accept her wedding invitation. I will also write to my bestest friend in the whole wide world, Laura. She lives so far away that it makes me want to cry. I miss her oodles!  We used to send each other funny little letters in the post all the time back when we first finished university, but life tends to get stupidly busy around that time too, and so the letters fell by the way side as we simply didn’t have enough hours in the day. But, I am going to make time. I will write in lunch breaks, whilst on the train, waiting at the Doctors surgery, sitting in front of the TV, wherever there is a few spare minutes to jot something down, even if it’s just a few words. Lets revive the handwritten letter people, it brings such joy and can make a persons day 🙂 Have fun! xx

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Happy new year!

Happy new year one and all! (Sorry that this post is a little late…..) Wishing you all a fabulous 2012 filled with lots of love, laughter and happiness! I hope you enjoyed the celebrations and didn’t feel too worse for wear the next day…. I know we did 😮

London's NYE fireworks

Ooooo, ahhhhh, pretty!

sooooo sparkly!

On new years eve, Mr Sharp and I guzzled copious amounts of champagne and had an epic NYE Risk battle. Sadly, the ruthless Mr Sharp royally whooped my sorry buttocks yet again…. Curse you Mr Sharp and your quest for world domination! *waves fist angrily in the air*

My little red fellows got severly annihalated....

I’ll get you next time Mr Sharp, you mark my words! Mu ha ha ha ha!

At midnight we stood by the river Thames and watched the fireworks erupt over the city. Twas quite magical! As a few sky lanterns took flight from a nearby balcony, Mr Sharp and I challenged each other to think of three goals we would each like to achieve in 2012. After much, ummming and ahhhhing our list was complete.

My goals for 2012:

1. Learn to crochet: In 2010 I taught myself to knit by watching instructional videos on youtube. Now, I want to tackle learning to Crochet….

My much loved nanny king tried to teach me to crochet when I was a little girl, but I ended up getting so frustrated that I threw the crochet hook across the room, stomped my little feet, and solemnly vowed to never to try it again because it was simply too hard! This time, instead if foot stomping, there will probably be little swearing, but by jove I shall learn to crochet by the end of the year (I won’t promise that I will be any good at it though).

2. I want to start a vintage inspired children’s clothing range:

Now that I am in the process of training for my dream career of becoming a costumer, I want to start a little side project of making children’s clothes and starting a little online store to help fund my studies. I bought myself a pattern cutting book for children’s clothes as a little christmas present to me. All I need to do now is start drawing up the designs and source the fabric! Eeeep! It’s all very exciting. I also need to think of a name for this venture, I’d appreciate any suggestions!

3. I want to visit Scotland: I can’t believe that in all my 30 years, I have never been there, even though it’s practically on our doorstep! I hang my head in shame….

 

Mr Sharps goals for 2012:

1. Become a dive master: My beloved Mr Sharp is a very accomplished SCUBA diver. He already holds numerous qualifications in the sport, and last year he qualified as a rescue diver (I’m so very proud! It’s like having my very own aquatic superhero!). This year however, he wants to become a qualified dive master, the highest level of certification a diver can have when training with PADI.

 

 2. Take more photographs: Mr Sharp is an excellent photographer, but we realised that last year we were very slack at remembering to take the camera out with us whilst out and about. The camera has now been removed from its bag in the wardrobe, and has been left out by the T.V. in the lounge, ready to grab at a moments notice and capture those special moments of our adventures together, like this one:

Our first photo of 2012

Our first photo of 2012, taken a few minutes after midnight on the 1st of January.

3. Take me to Scotland: After I confessed shamefully that I had never ventured north to Scotland, my adorable Mr Sharp vowed to take me there as one of his goals for 2012. I have to be the luckiest lady in the world to have landed myself such a wonderful man.

Happy new year folks! I hope each and every one of you have a fabulous year. Here’s to 2012, its gunna be a goodun! xxx

Sleep well little Rosie.

It’s been a very sad time over here at Gizmo and Stitch Towers.  Last weekend, Mr Sharp and I had to have our beloved cat Rosie put to sleep after she became very sick very quickly, and we are missing her dearly.  She was a sweet old thing, full of love, purrs and affection. She wanted nothing more than a lap to curl up on, a bite to eat, and somewhere cosy to push some Zzzz’s. We only had her short time, but we feel blessed to have had her in our lives. She made our house more of a home, greeting us at the door with a happy meow each time we crossed the threshold. We knew she was an old cat when we adopted her,  although we could not be sure of her exact age.  We were quite shocked when the vet told us she thought she was nearly 18 years old! At least we could give her somewhere warm and loving to spend her final months, and she had a good innings as they say. Sleep well little Rosie cat, we will never forget you. xx

Roadtrip!!

“Where shall we go on holiday this year?” asked Mr Sharp.

“Oooo”, pondered I somewhat briefly, “I’d love to go back to Sorrento in Italy”.

“Fabulous” replied Mr Sharp, “shall we drive there?”

“Ok” Said I.

So, 6 months of planning later, we board our vessel for the trip – our beloved and trusty Ford Focus named “Mo” (what? what’s so weird about naming a car?) – waved goodbye to London town, and set off on our rather epic 3300 mile road trip.

4 days into our trip and we have driven just over 800 miles through 4 different countries (France, Belgium, Luxembourg, and Switzerland) and made 8 border crossings.

So far we have climbed 698 steps up two different towers (the Belfry of Brugge and Strasbourg Cathedral), drank beer that was 11.3% (yes, 11.3%! thats not a typo, it was actually that strong and tasted slightly like bananas), ate at a 2 star michelin restaurant, drank an £100 bottle of wine which despite my scoffing and “can you actually taste the difference?” remarks, it turns out that yes, you can taste the difference, and it was truly amazing.

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We took the worlds highest vertical ascent cable car up 2800 metres in just 20 minutes to the top of Aiguille du Midi, a mountain the the french Alps 3,842 m above sea level, and discovered that I have vertigo (who knew?? I certainly didn’t!!). I had to cuddle quite tightly into Mr Sharp and close my eyes while giving out little squeals of fright during the ascent in the cable car. The view from the top, however, was spectacular, totally worth me nearly pooping myself:

I can’t believe we have achieved so much in such a short space of time! I have to confess that some of the driving can be a little tedious – lot’s of boring motorways that need to be tackled to help us to cover so much ground in such a short space of time, but it is totally worth the effort. It is going to be a trip that will give us memories to last a life time, and many stories to tell. Best of all, I get to see all these wonderful sights, and have such magical experiences with my wonderful man by my side every step of the way. What an adventure. xxx

A whole lotta Rosie

“Animals are such agreeable friends – they ask no questions, they pass no criticisms.” ~ George Elliot

Amongst all the knitted creations here at Gizmo and Stitch Towers now lives an actual real life cat! And a very sweet cat is she. A few months ago, Mr Sharp and I adopted a dainty little elderly cat and named her Rosie (also affectionately known as “Catface”).

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We adopted her from a local cat rescue charity who had found her wandering the streets, very underweight, very confused and in a very bad way. She was lovingly nursed back to health by the devoted staff at the rescue centre and once she was feeling better they set about finding her a new home. Enter Mr Sharp and I, who once we met her, fell instantly in love with the teeny tiny but very elderly kitty, and took her home to live with us.

She wants for nothing apart from a lap to sit on and something to eat. Her hobbies include sleeping, cuddles, and purring. Oh, and walking up to us, standing by our feet, looking up at us with adorable ‘puss-in-boots-from-shrek‘ big eyes, and giving us a very loud meow for seemingly no other reason than to say hello.

Despite her elderly lady characteristics, every now and again, the kitten in her awakens and she hunts a little knitted mouse that the rescue centre gave her as a goodbye gift.

The little knitted mouse is very cute and lovingly made. I asked the lady at the rescue centre where it came from and she told me that some local little old ladies knit them up for the cats to play with, and sell a few at the local vets to help raise a bit of much-needed cash for the centre. However, the knitted mice where selling quicker than they could be knitted. The knitter in me got incredibly excited, “I could help this cause” thought I.

I contacted the lovely people over at Bustle and Sew to see if they wouldn’t mind me using their lovely knitted mouse pattern for the cause, and they agreed whole heartedly.They have even given me permission to share this pattern on this here blog so that maybe I can find some fellow knitters to help raise funds for animal protection/rescue charities up and down the country. So, are you a knitter? Would you like to help me raise funds for local animal rescue centres?

Ain't they just the cutest?

My plan is to knit as many mice as possible, and sell them at local vet practices, craft fairs, to friends and family, or online at my Folksy and Misi stores. All proceeds made will be given to the rescue centre to help them to continue with their good work.

Maybe you know of a local animal centre that could benefit from a charitable donation (lets face it, they could all use a bit of help). You could whip up some cute little cat toys to sell and raise some cash for them.  If you might be interested in helping to knit for charity you can contact me by leaving a comment below, or by emailing me at gizmoandstitch@live.com. Let’s use our knitting powers for good folks, lets help some charities and some furry friends.

Another happy and very cute customer :-)

The very beautiful, spectacularly cute little baby Blaike with knitted kitty Callie!

My utterly wonderful friend Isi (who is currently all poorly sick with tonsill-nasty-itis, yuck! Poor Isi, get well soon my lovely! Mwah!) commissioned me to knit a little grey and white stripped kitty in a pink dress for little baby Blaike, and the other day she kindly sent me this piccie to show me the two of them together. I always really enjoy seeing my creations with their new owners, it gives me a genuine feeling of contentment. Apparently little Blaike holds the knitted kitty all the time and likes to suck it’s nose! How sweet is that? Oooop, I’m going all gooey now…. I can’t help it…. I’m going to have to say it…. awwwwwwwwww!!! And now for a random outburst of baby doting speak…. “iddybiddyboobooboowajawajawoodododoboo”! Ahem… Sorry about that… Now I just need to find me some squadgy cheeks to pinch… Any volunteers? Anyone? No? Oh well.

Knitted kitty portrait

This adorable, fluffy little kitty belongs to my good pal Lucy, the Urban Goblin.…..

…..and Dennis is his name. Oooooo I just wanna snuggle up to him!! He looks so very cuddly! I miss having kitty’s very much, they are so very ace.

Lucy and I met a few months ago when we both enrolled at the local adult education college to do an Etching course. On my first day I sat anxiously and wide-eyed in the unfamiliar room, surrounded by medieval looking printing presses, my nose being tickled by the smell of acid and ink. I surveyed the room, checking out my new classmates, all of whom were on the side of elderly, working in a respectful calm and quietness. I have to confess my heart sank a little. I love getting the chance to meet new people and have a bit of banter and a good old natter while  learning a new craft, and it was quite evident that the people in this class were there to etch in peace and not be disturbed by a young whipper snapper such as myself. And just then, when I had resigned myself to the fact that no new comrades would be found in my fellow etchers, Lucy walked in and I could tell straight away that we would become partners in crime. The nattering between us two quickly commenced and we soon discovered that my Mum had been the librarian at Lucy’s secondary school and that she knew my brother from the pub. We had both quit our tiresome, life draining jobs to find inner happiness, and we both had a love of retro cartoons, zombies, warcraft, children’s books, growing veg, creating things, randomness, weirdness and general giggling.

So, anyway, back to Dennis the cat…. Lucy had commissioned me to make her a knitted version of her gorgeous kitty for her dad’s birthday. I happily obliged, I love any excuse to get knitting!

And here he is! Ta da!! Little knitted Dennis. Tee hee! His little daft face makes me chuckle!

I tucked him up all comfy cosy in a box and posted him off to Lucy to give to her dad. I hope they (and the real Dennis the cat) all like little knitted Dennis! Enjoy your new home dude, I know you will be very happy there. xx