“Live Simply” happy dance

In March, I had a happy dance, having finished off a cross stitch design: “Live Simply”, a kit by Dimensions.  However, that was just the happy dance for a finished stitching . . . the real full-flung happy dance happened this month.

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I have made a lap top case for my niece, N.  Her parents gave her a Notebook PC for Christmas, and she had asked if I could make a protective cover for it . . . so I did lol.  Some simple piecing on the front, and some freestyle quilting.

It’s just a simple pouch, but I added handles so it can be carried like a bag, and a couple of large poppers to make sure it stays shut.

oh what a beautiful week!

I don’t know about you, but weather in our corner of France has been amazing this week!  For early April, you could easily be mistaken into thinking it was summer.  Skies have been blue, the sun has been out every day and I have been sitting out in the garden in my summer clothes!  Yes!  Sleeveless tunics, dashing bright orange knee-length leggings.  Sunglasses definitely called for.

Husband has been very industrious in the veggie patch, but I haven’t taken any photos of his plantations yet.  He’s planted 18 tomato plants, 6 brocoli, 3 fennel, and hopes to get more plants in this coming week.  Seeds planted (radish & roquette) are already sprouting, but my beetroot haven’t come up yet.  Strawberry plants are in flower, raspberries bushes are budding . . . and cherry, apricot, and pear trees have all blossomed and mini fruits are in preparation. 

Everything seems incredibly early this year!  Even the Lily of the Valley is showing signs of buds.

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And just look at these lovely  lilac blooms

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Anyway, as I said, I’ve been sitting out in the garden, but keeping hands busy.  My most recent crochet project is

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A little owl necklace purse – yay!  This is a design by the very talented Janine Holmes of Moji-Moji Designs.  You can find the pattern for this project in her free tutorials. 

This little fellow only took a few hours to make, and I’m a beginner crocheter.  As usual, I immediately set to work making more . . .

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Colours aren’t very good in the photo.  After the purple one, I’ve begun work on a dark teal and a lilac.  The main work is done.  Just need to make eyes, beaks and assemble. 

Another reason it’s been a beautiful week . . . I celebrated my un-birthday!

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Received this surprise haul from Jess.  One of her cards (she designs and sells cards and cross stitch designs on Etsy) and some lovely bookmarks.  Somes with views of Guernesey (where Jess now lives) and one, is a metallic Korean bookmark.

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Ever so pretty!  So a big thank you Jess !!

Gibbs – 7 months and a blankie

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Gibbs is now 7 months and still growing.  Last week, he weighed in at 28 kilos ^^ 

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He’s gorgeously glossy, and really is an incredibly good-natured & intelligent dog.  We’ve had only one naughty episode this month – where Gibbs managed to get his nose in a chocolate cake (husband’s fault – you don’t leave chocolate cake on the table when you have a puppy), but I stopped him before he’d had a chance to wolf too much down (chocolate being toxic for dogs).   However, after a quick call to vet’s . . . seeing dog weight and portion of cake size eaten, there was nothing to worry about.

Apart from that, he’s been no trouble at all.  He’s getting on well with the cats, who no longer run & hide each time they see him . . . and basically, slowly growing out of puppy antics to become a proper adult dog.

He’s not too keen on rides in the car . . . so I decided to try and make things more comfortable.  Thought, if he had a “blankie” then car rides might be easier.  He has a soft bear that he loves carrying around in his mouth, and takes to bed with him.  So I thought he might also grow attached to a blankie.

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Quilting is a bit rough & ready (meaning wonky in places) but I don’t think Gibbs is going to complain.

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Made using a pack of 4” square prints I received for Christmas, an old cot sheet and some cheap plain blue cotton.  It is no doubt destined to be covered in mud & dog hair, I therefore did everything by machine, including the last sewing on binding.  Measures approx 44” x 34”. 

easter bunnies amigurumi x2

It’s that time of year . . . when the birds are starting to nest, flowers up budding up everywhere, and shops start to have window displays of lucious chocolate many in the shape of bunnies.

I decided to work on some calory-free bunnies of my own . . . following a pattern by Yum Yarn Crochet Creations available for free on Ravelry.

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Hooking up, first one in baby pink, and then a boy bunny in blue.

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I used the same brand of yarn for both (something bought in a local bargain basement store – 100% acylic) and a 3mm hook for both . . . for some reasion, my tension was tighter (and actually better) on the first one I made: little pink bunny, and got a bit looser on little boy-blue. 

Ears were very fiddly to make but not impossible, and I actually love them.  They’re such a lovely, bunny-ear shape.  So these two little projects to get me into training to tackle something a bit bigger/more complicated.  I haven’t attempted any colour changes yet, so that will be the next thing to try.

“better late than never” quilt

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A happy dance here, as I finally finished the quilt for my sister.  Originally aiming for her birthday in February, hence the name.

Finished size is 44” by 58” so it’s a nice size for her to fling over the back of her 2-seater sofa.

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I was very pleased with how it turned out, but I’m still not a great fan of the colour palette.  Still, sister asked for black, red & “silver” which is the colour-scheme in her living room.  I think I met the brief.

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SAL – Cirque des Triangles #3

Our SAL 3-weekly update has come around fast . . .

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And here’s my progress thus far.  This is “Cirque des Triangles” an Ink Circles chart by Tracey Horner.  I’m loving this design and really enjoying seeing more triangles appear on my fabric.

Don’t forget to stop by and admire progress of other SAL members.  Avis, is working on the same CdesT design, but in totally different colours.  Other members are all working on a wonderful variety of projects:  Gun, Carole, LucyAnn, Kate, Jess, Sue, Constanze, Debbierose, Christina, SusanP, Kathy, Margaret, Cindy, Helen, Steph, WendyLinda, Catherine, Mary Margaret and Timothy.

And to come by again on 23rd April for our next update.

best layer of the month #March

apricot blossom

Our little apricot tree is in blossom . . . Spring is in the air . . . and hens have been having a leisurely time of it this month.  55 eggs for March, which is a far cry from what we were collecting this time last year.  But hens are one year older, so we can’t expect them to be such prolific layers now.  Miranda laid 14 eggs – she’s really having a rest this month.  Miss Marple laid 18 . . . and Miss Moneypenny put everyone to shame with 23 eggs.