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

Things I made last year

What with all the crazy-can’t-keep-up-stupidly-busy-ness that I encountered back in January, I completely forgot to post pictures of some of the gifts I made for people as part of my Handmade Christmas Pledge! Oops! Here is a selection of some of them:

A knitted wolf for Josephine

A knitted cat for Kayleigh. She called it Amy Cat! Aww!

A cowl for Jackie

A stocking for the cat.... ahem....

I foolishly forgot to take photographs of some of the gifts I made as I was in such an excited hurry to wrap them and put them under people’s trees! Must remember to take more photos. I absolutely loved taking and sticking to the handmade pledge; sitting on the sofa with a cup of tea and my balls of wool beats going out in the cold and battling the crazy crowds at the shops. I will definitely do it all again next Christmas, can’t wait xx

After a brief interlude….

….normal service is to be resumed! Huzzah!

It’s been such a long time since my last post, I’m so sorry folks! Life had gotten just a smidge too busy after the yuletide season, and I was struggling to keep up! What with writing copious amounts of essays and completing projects for uni, working extra shifts in the evenings, and having a birthday (my birthday very rudely and inconsiderately interrupted me being in my 20’s, a decade a thoroughly enjoyed, and has now pushed me somewhat reluctantly in to my 30’s even though I kindly asked it not to, hurrumph!), my head has been in a bit of a spin and my mojo got a little lost 😦 My usually smiley face was replaced by a frowney, somewhat serious and at times pouty face. I don’t like essays, and I don’t like getting older, but after being a good girl and getting all my work done, my smile has pounced back on my face and kicked the frowney face clean off, yay!

Such a smiley soft drink lid

I found this little happy face peering up at me from Mr Sharps soft drink lid this morning, and it made me smile. It just looks so very happy! I felt quite mean when I had to put it in the bin….

My thoughts tend to go to sleep unless they and I wonder, and wonder they did thanks to my beloved Mr Sharp; for my birthday he whisked me away on a wonderful surprise holiday to Amsterdam for 5 glorious days of debaucherous giggle filled bliss to celebrate my 3rd decade of being. We had a most splendid time, a much needed holiday for us both. I have come back feeling revived and inspired. I love Amsterdam, it’s such a beautiful city.

Now that my Handmade Christmas has come to an end, I need a new project, and thanks to my favorite ever website, Ravelry, I have found one. Over the next few weeks, any free time that I have will be spent on making these little fellows:

Photo by Rachel Borello Carroll at Petite Purls.

Aren’t they just adorable? The pattern for these delightful little creatures, known as “Anything Animals” is available for free at Petite Purls. I plan on making a whole menagerie of different animals to give to the little people that I’m blessed to have in my life.

Photo by Rachel Borello Carroll at Petite Purls.

Off to my wool stash I go! It will be an excellent project for using up all my little scraps of left over wool. Excited much? Er, yes! Muchly! Happy knitting folks! xx

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

His and hers Christmas stockings

When I was a littl’un, one of the best things about Christmas morning was waking up to find a stocking filled by Santa at the end of the bed. I would get caught up in the magical belief that Santa had been in my bedroom that night, that he’d managed to sneak in again without getting caught. Every Christmas eve I would go to bed hoping that I would wake when Santa snuck into my room, but I never did. I’d wave my little fist in the air and promise that “next year I will stay awake to meet you Santa!”, but I never could.

I’d heave my bulging stocking up on to my lap and pull out each little gift, one by one, with great excitement and a huge grin planted firmly on my face. Once they were all pulled out, inspected and played with, I would hurriedly shove them all back inside the stocking and run to my parents room, bounce on the bed shouting excitedly to wake them up, then sit there pulling each gift out again, one by one, to show my mum and dad while they made the appropriate “ooo’s” and “ahhhh’s” in half asleep state.

My wonderful mum has always hung a stocking at the end of my bed on Christmas eve, every year for the past 28 years , because I have spent every Christmas at the family homestead (although the bouncing and shouting and bundling in to bed with them the next morning had to come to a stop for I was getting too big, sob!). But this year, now that I’m a growed up and living with the amazing Mr Sharp, the responsibility of hanging the stockings on Christmas eve has fallen to me. I was excited by the prospect, until I realised that there were no stockings to hang! I summoned the help of my knitting needles and balls of wool and set about rectifying the worrying stockingless scenario.

Clickety clickety went the knitting needles with great urgency, and ta dah! As if by magic, two little stockings, one his, one hers, were birthed:

These little lovelies are knitted flat (my favourite way to knit) so they were a pleasure to make. The pattern is a doddle to follow too. I used this pattern to guide me, but used my own colour schemes and pattern sequences to give them more of a personal touch. If you would like to know how I made mine drop me a line and I will send you some instructions. They only took me a couple of evenings each to make, so if you fancy making some you still have time! They would make a lovely gift for someone.

I couldn’t wait until Christmas eve to hang our lovely new stockings up, so they are already taking pride of place in our lounge, hanging high enough that they don’t suffer a CATTACK(!) from our little kitten. I’m sure she would have hours of fun destroying them if she could only get her claws into the wool. Well not this year little kitty! Although, I cannot wait to see what havoc she unleashes on the Christmas tree when we hang it this weekend…..

Only 9 more days till Chrimbo people, eeeeep! So excited! xx

A handmade Christmas meets Sunday night knitting project

Oh my….. I appear to have fallen bottom over breasticles in love. ‘With what or whom?’ I hear you cry. Well, I shall tell you! I have fallen in love with (drumroll)…….wait for it……waaaaaaait for it………a knitting pattern. There, I said it. Don’t judge me, I’m happy.

As part of my quest for a handmade christmas I decided that as well as sewing some decorations for our chrimbo tree, I would also knit some. So, off I went to consult my knitting pattern bible, Ravelry. And there it was. Nestled in amongst the various Christmassy type patterns were these little fellows:

It was love at first sight! So under their spell was I that I was reaching for my knitting needles before I knew it. Just over an hour into my trance and the first stocking was birthed! I was completely smitten with the little fellow, it looked deliciously cute! This pattern is so wonderfully easy to follow, and the best part for me is that its knitted flat and then seamed. Most sock patterns are knitted in the round, and the be frank, I sometimes can’t be arsed with all the faffing that knitting in the round entails. I end up jabbing myself with the double pointed needles more times than is possible for any human to endure without throwing them across the room in a sulk, and I haven’t quite got to grips with the magic loop method yet, so this pattern is just perfect for the likes of me.

They will look simply wonderful on our little Christmas tree. I’m going to fill each one of them with a little gift or sweet treat for Mr Sharp to find. Well, that’s if our new little kitten doesn’t get to them first! If I had time I would knit twenty-four of them and make them into an advent calendar, but alas time is against me. Maybe next year aye? So far I have knitted three, but will be making as many as I can before we collect our tree in two weeks time, otherwise it may end up looking pretty bare…..

Mini Christmas Stockings

This fabulous pattern is available on Little Cotton Rabbits blog. You can access the mini stocking pattern by clicking here. A big thanks to the exceptionally talented Julie for sharing her pattern for free. Thank you Julie!

Happy Sunday folks, and happy knitting. Only 27 days until Christmas, eeep! xx

A Handmade Christmas….

This Christmas I shall be placing one hand on my heart, the other on my pile of craft books, and will be making a pledge; The Handmade Christmas Pledge….

What with becoming a student again, I am all shades of skint. But, I don’t want that to put a stop to the joy that I get from handing my friends and family members a gift at Christmas. It is also Mr Sharp and I’s first Christmas living together, and I am determined to make it really magical and memorable in every way possible. I will be making all manner of Christmassy type goodies to eat, and making a multitude of decorations to transform the house into a yuletide wonderland. I know it’s only November, but if I don’t start now I will never get all the gifts that I want to make finished in time to give to Santa for delivering, and the tree will look pretty bare if I don’t get the decorations finished!

This week, I will mostly be making Christmas tree decorations. Browsing through the wonderous handmade world that is Etsy, I spied these beautiful decorations by some very clever crafters, and they inspired me to have a go at making my own:

‘A very felty christmas’ by gizmoandstitch


Felted Christmas Orname…

$60.00

Dove, Felt Christmas Or…

$12.00

Figgy Pudding Felt Chri…

$8.50

Christmas tree decorati…

$35.00

Felt Candy Cane Christm…

$3.10

LET it SNOW Sign / Bann…

$18.00

Christmas Decoration st…

$4.00

Christmas home decorati…

$20.00

Christmas home decorati…

$10.00

Silver and Blue Snowfla…

$12.00

Mini Felt Mitten Decora…

$8.50

Felt Gingerbread Man Ch…

$5.00

Hand Embroidered Swirl …

$15.00

Christmas Holiday Stock…

$10.00

Felt Christmas ornament…

$13.00

Christmas Decoration 3x…

$10.80

Treasury tool by Red Row Studio.

As well as making decorations for our tree, I will be making a few sets to give as gifts. I can’t wait to get started! The felt has been purchased, the tea pot has been filled. With a blanket on my knees (it’s a bit nippy today!), and tacky midday television on in the background my Handmade Christmas shall begin! Wish me luck! xxx