Wednesday, July 23, 2014

A Giveaway with Little Woolie.

 Did you know that Stanley came travelling with us? He was very well behaved, no food or toileting require. In my mind, a perfect travelling companion to have.  He even came to my most favourite shop in Bath - Wool. I am going to do a whole 'nother post on it because I love it sooooo much but here are a couple of photos for the meantime.
Now, onto other news. Did you know that Julie from Little Woolie is having a Stanley and the Hot Air Balloon giveaway over at her blog. If not you had better pop there now and enter. Quicksticks!

 Isn't this just the most beautiful shop ever. I can't wait to show you some more photos. 
Lots and lots of love,
Kate xxooxx.

Friday, July 18, 2014

The Best Mermaid Ever.....and it could be yours!

 This is Hannah. She is a beeeeaaaauuuutiful mermaid made by my very dear friend Amanda of Amanda Makes. There is a part of me that almost doesn't want to do this post as I would so love to buy Hannah myself (but don't worry, I am putting lots of bids on for her). However, my good conscience is winning out... and so, I will let Amanda tell you about Hannah (by the way, this is where you go to bid):
"So I finally got myself sorted and listed Hannah the Mermaid on Ebay! I am selling her to raise money for Cancer Research so if you'de like to give her a home then please follow this link and bid for her! The listing opens at 20.05 tonight. This is my really small way of trying to help in the fight against this dreadful disease. I know the devastation that cancer brings in it's wake, not just in terms of health but on so many other levels as well. I'm hoping and praying with all my heart that CRUK can help to find cures for the many different forms of cancer including the one that has struck my darling girl. It would be great if you could share this post as much as possible. Thank you all so much Happy bidding! Lots of love Amanda xxxx"
Amanda is the most wonderful person. On our travels she welcomed our boisterous family into her jewel box of a flat that she shares with her gorgeous daughter Jenny. And she made us feel so welcome and so loved and even let us sleep there for a couple of nights.
 Can you imagine the craziness that went on. Jonno may look a little concerned in this photo but really, he was as happy as a clam.
See!!! In fact, we may have made ourselves a little bit too much at home. 
How could we not though, Amanda has made the most beautiful place imaginable. The boys walked in and you could almost see their backpack-wearing, travelling shoulders drop in relief that they were finally in a place that made sense to them. And they looooooved Amanda so much that they have decided to come and live with her in Manchester and study gamekeeping (as you do).
 This is me in my favourite chair - I am sure that I didn't say to Archie - please take my photo in this chair.
 AND we made a Stanley together - I have a vague inkling that too much talking went on though. Archie kept us company with his hand knitting.
Such a special time and would you believe - there is another instalment to come.
Lots and lots of love,
Kate.
p.s. Remember to go here.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Craft Bomb Your Bike.... The Book!!!!

 Every day I keep running down to the mailbox (we're on a farm, it's not a quick dash) to see if my new book has arrived. I'm still waiting - it should be here any day now but I can't wait any longer to show you - "CRAFT BOMB YOUR BIKE: 20 Makes for you and your bike" - dahdah!!!
Late last year I was contacted by David & Charles Publishing to contribute some projects to their new book on bicycle craft. Of course I said yes immediately as you probably know by now that I have my own highly dressed bike which I love and adore.
 I was very lucky and had three projects accepted - handlebar birds, rabbit ears for basket and bunting with bells (which is most handy for preventing heart attacks in the unaware as they can hear you coming).
 The first three photos are from the book.
 This is the bunting before it was sent away - I can't wait to see what it looks like in the book - you can just make it out in the top left hand cover of the book.
 I adored making the birds, they were such a pleasure. I have a pair for my bike and I have to admit that the male wears a top hat. More photos for another day.
So hopefully in the next couple of days I will have a copy in my hot little hand and will be able to show you more photos. But in the meantime if you would like to order it yourself, it's available here and here.
Lots and lots of love,
Kate xxooxx.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

My Best Mug.

 I bought this mug when I was in London at Liberty. We all had a special cup when we were travelling AND a thermos so we could stop whenever we were salty for a cup of tea.... this happened regularly. 
This particular stop was a bit special as it was by a loch in Scotland. One of the most picturesque cup-of-tea spots in my life..... except for the midges. Oh my giddy aunt. As soon as we were done, we ran to the car. They bite!!!!! 
I think the whole trip was worth it just because I get to drink my tea from this cup every morning. I love it sooooo much. Hope you are having lots of lovely weekend cups of tea.
Lots and lots of love,
Kate xxooxx.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Inspiration From Everywhere....

 When I was away, unlikely things filled me to the brim with inspiration. For one, chandeliers. I think we should have more - sure our ceilings may be a little low, but they could double as tiaras. 
 a lot of time was spent photographing them wherever we went. And I was satisfied with the results until Hugo showed me how he views them.
 Like this, from directly beneath. Although the jumper batwings aren't essential.
 What a world. Eight year olds are amazing aren't they. By the way, the first five photos of this post are from Warwick Castle.
 Fabric of course will always be at the top of my list - especially velvet. Can you imagine this being your bedspread. Even looking at this now I have an uncontrollable urge to lie down and nap.
 Velvet is so soft that it even makes this hot water bottle (very literal on the bottle) look cuddly.
 And then of course there are the Columbia Road flower markets. Can you believe that I was overseas during peony season!!!!

And last of all, swans.
 And cygnets. Anybody feel like resting their weary heads upon one of these little creatures - in a loving rather than crushing way.....
Or floating off somewhere like this? Oh Kensington Gardens or Hyde Park - I really can't remember when we crossed from one into the other but what magical places.
Lots and lots of love,
Kate.
p.s. Too tired to read back on my writing so I hope I writ it well.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Hugo, Tiny Mice and the Ruins.

 Isn't it terrible, I've already forgotten where this is. Somewhere in Dorset I think. I'll look it up on the English Heritage site later. So, you might think that the boys possibly became a bit sick of seeing castles. They certainly lost patience quite quickly with us pointing out every bit of historic information ("But it's educational"...), the castles though were endlessly fascinating for all sorts of reasons as I am sure you can imagine. The ruins particularly sparked their imaginations though. 
I bought some little wooden animals in Switzerland for my photography. Hugo loved them and began setting up little scenes in nooks wherever we went. The tiny mice from the Stanley book (you can find the pattern for them here) also featured heavily in his scenes - just the right scale. And then when he found the catapult, well, he was in some kind of animal-rebellion-heaven.
Don't trust those tiny rabbits for a second. I am actually thinking of screwing a little loop into the back of one and turning it into a necklace. Is that cruel?



Hugo's catapult actually fires (and sharpens pencils). I think we both had a too much fine firing the animals. 
Lots of love,
Kate xxooxx.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Inspiration from the V&A

First of all, thank you soooo much for your Stanley orders!!! I am so appreciative I can't begin to tell you. I've been bundling up books all day and the countries they are heading off to are amazing. Also completely chuffed to see a couple being sent to NZ locations - imagine if we could have a crochet rabbit party one day (mind you, if that's not your bag don't worry, I won't stalk you.... well only a little bit).
Anyhoo, this post is a little different. It's about what inspired me on our trip. I've always had a daydream about what it would be like to spend the night in a supermarket. As alarming as it sounds, it's actually a really good dream. What would I eat, where would I sleep (lots of packets of toilet paper seems to be winning at the moment - and a spot well away from the freezer section), what I would do for lighting (thank goodness for the torch and battery section)and reading - wahoo, they stock books.
And now I have moved onto a whole new dream. Which museum I would live in if I had to.
Thank goodness for the trip because I now have a much wider selection and so I choose without hesitation, the Victoria and Albert Museum. First of all, so many places to sleep AND comfortably. Secondly, different things to wear every single day. Especially when the wedding dress exhibition is on. I almost think those reasons are enough. Ummm, what else. Best shop ever. At dinner time I would take plates from the ceramic section and go to the cafe (I didn't eat at the cafe but I hope it's good). Also, I just read that there is a Beatrix Potter display on to do with her rural experiences during WW1 and I DIDN'T SEE IT!!!! So that would keep me enthralled for a long time. 
This is not a sponsored post... in fact, who would sponsor it!!! Really.... I just loved it that much. And as for the ceramic section. Nothing has given me more inspiration. From the colours to the shapes, patterns, forms, rah-di-rah - I was utterly blown away.

There was such an amazing crossover with crochet in that so much of it was created for beauty alone. This plate of peas had me standing gormless for an awkward amount of time. Thank goodness I was alone because I really hate to think what I might have said to anyone passing at the time.
This had me like nothing else though (except maybe the peas). Can you believe this was even made by a human. 

And some beautiful colours to end this post.
Lots and lots of love,
Kate xxooxxooxx.

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