Friday, 27 June 2014

This Week...

This week has been a bit sluggish....

I was staying with friends Tues - Thurs as I needed to be up at uni for various things. These hydrangeas were from my friends' garden, aren't they lovely? Hydrangeas are my favourite flower at the moment and I am battling C very hard not to keep cutting my pink one in the garden back so much!

It was lovely to see everyone but I do love coming home again. I'm a bit of a home bunny. I'm also a bit less productive in my office, as I don't see everyone that often and of course gossip and catching up is essential :)

Today I am sat at my kitchen table powering my way through the last East German war novel I need to read for my final chapter. It's not the happiest subject, and whilst most of the time I find it fascinating some times it's a bit heavy. The thunder and lightening and heavy rain aren't lightening my mood either!!

I'm looking at this plant, I 'rescued' it from the bargain bin at a garden centre last weekend. It's still looking a bit limp but definitely a bit better than when it first came home...

I am going to Berlin for three weeks a week on Monday, for a research trip, so starting to prepare myself for that. I've been very lucky and been able to spend quite a lot of time there over my PhD, this is sadly my last trip so I need to be on the ball, and make sure I get all I need. C is coming to visit me in the middle weekend hopefully, but it is a long time to be apart (although definitely better than the 6 week stint I did last year!!)

Crafting has been on the back burner sadly, although in a stint of train crochet I made 4 coasters for the friends we are visiting this week as a (very belated!) housewarming gift. I think my tension must be up the spout as they are different sizes!!

The one bottom right is quite substantially bigger though, so I figure if I just replace that with a hasty crochet later it will be fine ;)

I am powering on with the cross stitch still, oh so slow progress wise. I have set myself the very ambitious finish date of next Friday, watch this space!!!

I hope that you all have a lovely, relaxing weekend :)

Monday, 23 June 2014

Camping in the Peak District

Well we couldn't have asked for better weather for a camping weekend!

We headed up to Derbyshire on Friday night for the weekend, and stayed at The Royal Oak in the tiny hamlet of Hurdlow, in between Buxton and Ashbourne. We stayed there before, in pre-Bonnie days, about 3 years ago and would highly recommend it. The food in the pub is AMAZING and they do the BEST CHIPS ever... (I'm very fond of my food ;)) The facilities are also nice for camping, which is very important - I like to feel comfortable showering!!

We had a quiet evening with C's mum who joined us for the weekend (she stayed in a nearby B and B rather than camped) and then the next day headed off for a circular walk. It was a truly lovely day

Bonnie all set up for Breakfast :)

We left Hartington in the morning and walked about 7 and a half miles, landing back where we started mid afternoon. Rolling hills, stiles, and cattle all combined to create a lovely stroll through the English countryside.

The next day we went to Bakewell, but my camera had run out of battery! We will be sure to revisit so I will have to be more careful next time :)

My camera case was perfect, and I have had two requests for similar cases already! On the to do list...

Hope you had a lovely weekend, whatever it may have held.

Friday, 20 June 2014

A Camera Case out of Necessity...

Somehow I managed to lose my camera case on honeymoon, it must have just slipped off somewhere... We are off to the Peak District for a camping trip this weekend and when I remembered about the lost case I thought I'd have a go at making one. I found this one on Ravelry and thought it might be doable in a couple of nights. It uses moss stitch, which was a new one for me, and I love it! There is a great tutorial here which I used. My camera is a bit bigger than most so I chained 40 to start rather than 22 and did a few more rows. I was very pleased with the result :)

All ready to go camping :) I also packed up my Dad's coasters as we may see him, again modelled by our hamper (a wonderful wedding present!)

.... and now I must dash as the camper needs packing!! Have a lovely weekend everyone :)

Monday, 16 June 2014

Cs on Sunday

Yesterday the biggest C in my life was occupied on the golf course so I indulged in some blissful uninterrupted 'me-time'. I love lazy Sundays, they're something of a rarity at the moment so I seized the moment gladly with hands wide open.

I happily settled myself on the sofa with some of my old friends, including 'Bridget Jones' and 'When Harry met Sally' and Bella cat, one of the furry Cs in my life, looked optimistic...

Poor Bella cat, she was most perturbed when she was unceremoniously plonked on the floor in favour of some WIPs! I plodded on with the cowl I've had on the hook for far too long now. I'd started to find it a bit tedious to be honest, very slow and repetitive. So I don't know if my Ta Dah! moment was actually because it reached the length I was aiming for or because I just got a bit fed up...

nevertheless it is very snuggly and warm. I shall enjoy it in a few more months (although today is somewhat chilly so maybe I should use it right away!)

I also dug out my WIP that makes me feel ashamed. A few months ago I was blogging about cross stitching a gift for a baby due in the family... Well said Baby is now a month old and the cross stitch piece is still rather unfinished! I'd managed to go wrong twice the last time I had it out so I unpicked and restitched a bit and now intend to try and get it done this month... watch this space!

I've enforced a 'no wine whilst cross stitching' rule as I fear that a glass may have clouded my counting abilities!

My next C is more crochet.... coasters! I love picking up inspiration from blogland and when I read Deb's post here a week or so ago I promptly lined the coasters on my 'to do' list. I loved the colours she used and they looked so summery and pretty! I want to make some as a housewarming present for a friend, and some for my Dad for Father's Day (he is used to getting his presents a week or so late!). I love the fact the original pattern dates from 1893 :) see here.

I dug out some cotton, I wasn't too sure about the variegated stuff so am starting some in just a plain block colour as well...

And my final C was at the very end, made as a team when C returned, a Creamy Courgette Lasagne

The photo doesn't do it justice but I was so hungry I couldn't be bothered to take more! The recipe was from the wonderful Good Food website, here. It was absolutely scrummy.

So that was my Sunday, I hope you all had lovely weekends and have great weeks ahead :)

Saturday, 14 June 2014

Catching up again

After the last week we are now fully back into the realm of reality and day to day life. It's been lovely coming back and enjoying our nice decluttered home, full of new things. I'm back into the swing of PhD life, reading away and I've even managed to start writing again which is nice. All in all a nice week getting back to normal and catching up. Catching up with friends, family, work, all the usual :) I changed my name after the wedding (although keeping the maiden one professionally) so am getting used to that, it's really rather odd!

Normally we are quite green fingered but what with one thing and another this year we have had to let our garden do its own thing. Nevertheless we have still being enjoying some of the results (the weeds, thistles and bolting herbs are not on that list!).

We have some champion strawberry plants which seem to just grow no matter what, so we have been gobbling up some lovely homegrown strawberries. I haven't quite managed to make meringue yet, but will have to before long - it's C's absolute favourite!

We also have two large Lavender bushes, which I love but C hates (a bit of an ongoing argument there). I've recycled some of the jars I made for the wedding (see here) and am using them to put some flowers from the garden in, I think they look quite pretty, and hope C will forgive me for the lavender smell ;)

Without having to make lots of decorations any more I am enjoying being able to crochet whatever I like. I am making progress with the granny blanket, which is now a quarter of the way there (excluding the edging)

I'm loving all the colour, and whilst some of them don't completely match I love the bright happy vibe. I'm also getting some ideas of colour combos for future projects :)

It is however time to step away from the granny (sigh). C is hankering for the camper blanket which I promised him, more on that next time, and I want to make some coasters for birthday and Fathers' Day gifts.

Have a lovely weekend! (I shall be watching footie and crocheting, come on England ;) although, I actually tend to support Germany which makes me terribly unpopular!)

Sunday, 8 June 2014

Happiness is....

... breakfast waffles at home with C...

...finding homes for our all our lovely new things, we've very generous family and friends...

... elderflower champagne and a yummy bbq in our relatively tidy garden...

... picking up my favourite WIP for a night on the sofa...

.... I hope that you have all also had a happy (and sunny despite the forecast!) weekend


Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Back to Reality.... Feet on the Ground with Head in the Clouds


After an amazing couple of weeks I now have my feet firmly replanted on the ground (as of yesterday, so maybe still a little shaky!) My head however hasn't quite returned yet, it's full of happy memories and daydreams.

On 24th May C and I tied the knot.... It all seems such a dream now but it truly was wonderful. So relaxed and happy, and our guests seemed to enjoy it too (always a good thing!). Everyone commented on how personal it was (I'd done quite a lot of crafting, and we made elderflower champagne and homebrewed beer for the reception drinks). It was just magical, I'm still processing it all to be honest, but hope to write more about it in another post in the future. We are waiting for the photos to come back but have seen previews, our photographer is amazing and has captured some lovely natural pictures, we didn't have a lot of group photos as we wanted people to eat, drink and be merry. And enjoy the garden games we'd hired :)

2 days later we flew off to the Austrian Alps for our honeymoon. Sadly the weather wasn't great, but we walked a lot (my legs still hurt) and climbed a few mountains... I pretended I was in the Sound of Music most of the time, but I think C wasn't entirely surprised at that! It truly was beautiful, we were by a lake in the midst of lots of mountains, in a town called Maurach. Lots of beer, bratkartoffeln (fried potatoes, my favourite food in the entire world) and just getting used to being hitched. Bliss.

The sheer vastness of the mountains is really rather humbling. Nature truly is magnificent.

We went to Innsbruck, the nearest city, one day. It was lovely, surrounded by mountains (which we didn't realise until the clouds had lifted!)

Ahem. yes, as the last two pictures suggest I managed to find a wool shop in Innsbruck, much to C's annoyance! He was very reasonable and accepted that I needed to buy some wool to make a honeymoon memento or two (after some persuasion). The shop was full of woolly goodness but I finally opted for what I think is an Italian brand. A mixture of wool, acrylic, alpaca and something else it's really light and soft, with a light silvery tinge running through it. I'm thinking a shawl, or cowl perhaps. I bought three of each colour, it's 50g a ball but 150m in length. Hmmm decisions decisions...

But a truly beautiful thing is that now the wedding is over I can crochet whatever I want! As much as I enjoyed making our lovely decorations, my fingers were starting to itch for other projects. I should probably return to my PhD first though.... reality is calling....

But before I do I am off to delve into Blogland to catch up on what everyone has been up to in my absence :) sorry supervisors....