halloween bugs

Well, the nursery is full of bugs as usual at this time of the year but most of the kids seemed to be well enough to get to the Halloween party today. Halloween just wasn't such a big thing when we were kids but it's hit us hard in all its American glory nowadays and it's great fun. We're suffering from another bug in this house though - ever since I started to make things for our 're:made' project Joe has been suffering from a serious bout of the 'making' bug - it's an extremely virulent strain so watch out if you've not caught it already! He's had it before but not so aggressively. You can't leave anything lying around or he starts cutting it up to make animals and finger puppets and ponds for plastic frogs. It's wonderful really but we were the only ones with a home-made costume at the party today which is great now but I wonder how long he'll want to do that for? V


finished at last

Well, I've finally finished the top I started in the summer - actually, considering I pulled a whole side out and re-knitted it, it hasn't really taken me all that long! I've not worn it yet but I think it's turned out quite well. It's a Rowan pattern by Martin Storey but I knitted it in Debbie Bliss Cathay yarn from the John Lewis sale. It's incredibly heavy and as it's knitted in moss stitch it's distinctly like chain mail. The family joke is that I need to get started on the armour to wear over it - is this a good thing I ask myself? Mmmmm.... V


cosy tea

Would you like a cup of tea with those cakes? More examples of the work for the project, 're:made'... and still having lots of fun. V


tea time take two

More cake making, though this time courtesy of another kind of alchemy - that of two sticks and a length of string. No less fun to create, knitted fairy cakes, from perfectly coloured Rowan four ply cotton that I bought in the John Lewis sale eons ago and have never found a suitable project for. Chocolate and vanilla versions finished with pretty coloured bun cases and icing, and lovely pearlescent pins for decoration. I made up this recipe as I went along but have finessed it over the last few versions - not quite so easy in a batch of baked buns! Sadly, though satisfying to look at, these ones don't taste so good as my last versions, and I fear that even Green & Black's chocolate icing would do little to help, so I'm off to finesse further - with the help of one of the last of chocolate smothered ones and some hot tea.... C


time for tea

Chatting to my sister on the phone this morning, discussing my nephew's ability to do mental arithmetic (he's four!), I claimed he must take after the same branch of the family as me - the scientific ones. I love maths - weird I know - mixing my arts education with physics and maths and I consider my brain to be as scientific as artistic. Why then my unfailing awe at the alchemy that applying heat to eggs, sugar and flour gives these? A source of constant amazement to me. These ones destined to be smothered in Green & Blacks chocolate icing, with the first, and quite possibly the second, to be enjoyed whilst still almost too hot to eat with a pot of Earl Grey tea to fortify me for the afternoon ahead... C

small things

This little bun Joe made just makes me smile - not a very appetising colour perhaps but it was made for me so I had to eat it! A small pair of knitted shoes for my neighbour's third baby when he arrives. The very last of our small crop of blueberries in my very favourite small hand. V


all buttoned up!

Again following the recycled theme, these are the button pieces I've been making for our joint venture which we're calling 're:made'. So far, I've been really lucky and have found a good local supply of lovely second-hand buttons but just when I needed to find some large dark-coloured ones for the centres of flowers some-one else went in and bought the lot! -Ah well, I suppose I've already had more than my fair share.
I've been really enjoying making these button pieces and also searching for buttons. I'm finding myself running back from nursery to sit at the table with my collections of buttons and listen to Woman's Hour on Radio Four. Last week, I was stitching buttons onto tea-cosies when an article came on about buttons and specifically about this installation of six million buttons that's been put together in Huddersfield Art Gallery. Each button represents one of the six million lives lost in the Holocaust and the sound of the curators wading through the buttons was chilling. V


cheat's felt

And then there's felt for the lazy folk like me! Actually, I'm trying to bring a bit of a recycled edge into a lot of my pieces to satisfy the forager in me. So, alongside my cards, I am boiling jumpers to make tea cosies and flower brooches in nice soft colours. V