Some interior inspiration

I’ve recently started making our house into more of a home. Previously I’ve had the attitude that “Oh we’re only renting, probably won’t stay here long so why bother?!” Well we’ve been in our current (TINY) flat for over a year now and we’ll be here till Dec/Jan (but then we are definitely finding something bigger), so in the mean time I’m gonna to the best I can to turn this into my dream flat. Because what I’ve finally understood (yup, I’m a little dense) is that you can take everything with you when you go and recreate your perfect rooms in your new place (they may even be better). What really got me going on the redecoration was two things; 1) Pintrest – so addictive and so much fun. It’s such a great way of keeping your good ideas reasonably organized, I used it the way I used to use bookmarks, but because you have the pictures there it’s so much easier to find exactly what you are looking for. My second reason is far less fun, here we go 2)Ants – In June (once we came back from holiday) our house seemed to be infested with the nasty critters so I went on a cleaning frenzy, and discovered that my temporary storage solutions various cardboard boxes under the cabinets, stairs etc made cleaning extra tedious and time consuming.

SO I guess my plan is to de-clutter, find a place for everything, especially my crossstitchcraft supplies (a year ago it was just cross stitch now there supplies for sewing, jewellery making, card making etc. it just keeps growing), make it all look a little more put together. I’ll let you know how it goes, and I’ll even show you some pictures once it looks better.

One of the places I find a lot of inspiration is etsy. There is so much there, creative and vintage mixed, newly crafted and re-purposed all together. Sometimes I look for specific things other times I just put a color into the search box.

Today for example my love of duck egg blue resurfaced, my plan is to have it as the little bit of color thrown in in the kitchen when things are predominately chrome and black. I didn’t really find anything for my kitchen there, but there were some really lovely stuff. So here are my favorite 5 Duck Egg Blue items from etsy:

1) Vintage Tall Chic Cabinet

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I feel a little naughty for showing the first one considering it’s sold but it’s so pretty, and actually something I’d consider for my kitchen if it was bigger (the kitchen, not the cabinet).

2) Jewelry Display Cabinet

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I love this one, especially how they’ve framed the wall paper to make it a bit more interesting.

3) Felt phone case, i pod, gadget cover

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Have I ever told you how much I LOVE felt? Well I do, it’s so versatile, comes in great colors, it’s durable and this case look so, so pretty. It’s on sale at the moment too.

4) Chocolate pillow cover

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Brown and duck egg blue is a wonderful color combination, one of my favorites to be honest.The cushion is simple and unfussy, how can yu not love it? It happens ot be on sale as well.

5) Handmade Fabric Doorstop

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Doorstops seem to be everywhere at the moment, and this pyramid one made with Laura Ashley fabric is just darling.

Does anyone else like Duck Egg Blue? I doubt I’m the only one.

A New Start

Happy New Year to you all!

I thought I’d start 2012 as I mean to go on, stop wasting time and doing the things I say I will do and the things I want to do.

2011 was a horrendous year for my family, and just about the only thing that has kept us going is the hope that this year will be better, it has to be better.

I have lots of things to look forward to, the two main events being the birth of my niece at the beginning of February and my nephew at the end of the month. I really can’t wait for the two little bundles if joy to appear.

As for what I want to do in 2012, they can be boiled down to three main things:
1. Reading
2. Writing
3. Creating

1. and 2. are undeniably linked. For the past year I’ve hardly read anything new, I might have got through 20 books or so. As a result my writing has been rubbish, I’ve felt totally uninspired and I couldn’t even get to 50k for Nano this year. So in an effort to write more and better I’m going to read more, I’ve set myself a minimum of 50 books that I haven’t read before, which should be more than doable. I’ve already started my first one and almost finished, I’ll try to give you a review when I’m done.

As for the writing I just want to get back to writing regularly, a few 100 words every day for the first few months at least. Then I can gradually up it and get back to the good old days of 3-4k in a sitting.

The last thing on my list is creating, mostly stitching and then finishing the stitching into sell-able items like jewelry, stitching accessorize etc. I have a few ideas and I’ve collected so many extra bits over the last few months that I should be able to make quite a lot, then set up an etsy or folksy site to sell them.

There is something that isn’t on the list, but is more important than any of it, family. It’s been 5 years since I last visited Norway, which is slightly ridiculous. I mean we were away from Liverpool for only 2 years and the city changed so much in that time, I dread to think what Trondheim is like now, maybe I won’t remember any of it. So in the year which will mark my 10th anniversary of moving to the UK, I promise, I will be going back for a visit.

There is lots more of course, but those are my main to-dos for 2012, general ones at least.

Do you have a goal, wish or resolution for the new year?

The Return of the Erratic Blogger

It’s been a while since I posted regularly, or posted anything of substance. Since April a lot has happened, there has been emotional and physical upheaval with our move from Liverpool to Basingstoke, and tragedy and devastating grief with the loss of a loved one.
There has been good things as well, the move wasn’t too bad and we’ve settled in to our new home and jobs (yup, that’s right, I am a lady of leisure no more). And more excitingly, come February I become an auntie to two more munchkins. It’s probably the only thing that has kept me sane through the last few months, that and stitching.
I’ve started and finished a fair few projects over the last few months. I still have a lot of challenge pieces left to finish, but half of them are still in Liverpool with the stuff we couldn’t fit into the van when we moved down. I also have a few WIPs and I’m playing catch-up on my ornaments and biscornus of the month.

Over the next few weeks I’ll attempt to catch you all up on what’s been happening in my life, my stitching etc, and so that it’s not all old news I’ll do every other post current and catch-up (as much as I can at least).

I’ll leave you now with a picture of me and my family during happier times, at a family party back in April (we all had to wear wigs)

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Left to right:
My BIL Tom, Me, my SIL Helena, my MIL Ann (RIP), and my hubby Paul

Thursday Three

1. Royal Wedding – I’m sorry people but I am genuinely looking forward to it. I love the royals, and I love any excuse to ooh and ahh over all the beautiful gowns, romantic vows etc. I had decided I wasn’t going to stitch anything to commemorate the occasion, but The Sampler Girl’s Royal Wedding Souvenir has been screaming out to me lately so I think it might be stitched after all.

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photo from The Sampler Girl

2. Getting organized – we’re moving next week and I always view a move as a chance to start over, de-clutter and getting myself (and hubby) sorted. A great tool in getting organized is Martha Stewart’s Organizing Tip of the Day newsletter. Arrives in my inbox everyday, and contains great advice. It’s not always relevant, but easily adaptable. Today’s tip show how to make your own corkboard 🙂

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3. New house – we were approved for our new house on Tuesday and next week we move in. I can’t wait, even though moving is stressful it’s be great to get our stuff in there. Here is a picture of our new living room

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Thursday Three

1. Craig Tracy and the South China Tiger Project – there are only 100 South China Tigers left in the world, and the majority of these living in captivity. Save China’s Tigers is a charity committed to keeping this species of tiger from extinction, and New Orleans body painting artist Craig Tracy recently created an amazing work of art to create awareness for the cause. Visit the charity’s website to find out how you can help, and visit Craig Tracy’s website to see more incredible works of art. Can you see what the tiger has been painted on?

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2. Oath of Fealty and Kings of the North by Elizabeth Moon – one of my very favorite fantasy books are The Deed of Paksenarrion books. Recently I discovered that Elizabeth Moon has written two sequels to the series, and I was truly overjoyed. Considering the first 3 were written 20 years ago I’m sure you can understand why I never even expected more books. I’ll be ordering the first one very shortly and I can’t wait to read it. If like me you are a fan of this series buy the new book, or if you are more on the ball than I am and you’ve read them already, head on over to the Paksworld Blog where Elizabeth has posted lots of back story, reference etc and is really good about posting new things and answering fans questions (as much as she can of course). Finding out about these two books (and the third in the making) has quite possibly made my year.

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3. Accessorize Necklaces – as usual Accessorize is great for some inexpensive bling. I’ve got an occasion coming up and I think I’ve found the perfect necklace to wear – the Ring Collection Long Pendant Necklace. It’s doubly great as I don’t like wearing rings on my fingers (don’t even wear my wedding ring most days), but they look excellent on a chain don’t they. Of course if you are one of those people who love waring rings and you have a jewelery box full of them, you could make your own necklace, all you need is a long chain to put them on 🙂

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Thursday Three

This is a new addition to the blog, which I’ve seen featured on several other blogs. I thought it would be fun to do my own take on it.
Every Thursday I’ll feature three things, sometimes they’ll be related, but mostly it’ll just be three things on my mind at the moment.

1. Sims Medieval – the new game is out. From what I’ve read it seems like a watered down Heroes of Might and Magic (low on the Might and Magic). I’m sure it’ll be fun enough to play, especially for people who want more structure to their Sim playing, this one has goals. But I don’t think I’ll be getting it just yet, maybe second hand in a few months time?

2. Lush Japanese Aid Soap – the wonderful Lush has released a limited edition soap where all the money made will go to Peace Boat, a charity which organizes teams of volunteers, transporting aid goods and cooking hot meals in the disaster zone. Let’s hope today’s earthquake does not make the situation any worse and that those who need help receive it without delay.

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3. Spring Giveaway over at Rhode Island Stitchers – Surely crafters must be the most generous of bloggers. I love entering all these giveaways, and I plan another one for my blog in the beginning of May, a Blogoversary Giveaway.

March in Hindsight and April Predicted

Wow another totally useless month. Cross stitch goals went well, but everything else, not so much. I have no excuse, just plain lazy and feckless these days.
So let’s look at the March goals and see how I got on.

Every Month:

1. Post on my blog at least once a week Only just managed this, and most of them are very rubbish posts.
2. Post picture of my TUSAL jar on each new moon
3. Stitch a biscornu for my Basket of Biscornus My favorite one to date, the shamrock biscornu
4. Stitch a Christmas ornament
5. Plot 3 new stories/plotlines Actually plotted about 6, all linked. More on that at a later stage
6. Write 10,000 new words (either on existing novels or new stories) Made a start on the above plots and wrote about 14k on two different plots. This new idea is really bringing back my love of writing!
7. Read 4 books a month, and write reviews for them Have to review 16 for April – not yet giving up hope that I’ll get this sorted out

March Only:

1. Finish wall hanging for mum The cross stitched part at least
2. 2 x Mother’s day cards Used two freebie kits as well
3. Finish one more project started during Crazy January Challenge This was of course the Blackwork Lady
4. Restart C25K challenge as it was completely ignored for Feb It remained ignored for March as well
5. Complete Scissor fob for exchange Completed, sent and received, a perfect exchange in every way.
6. 2 x ATC’s for exchange Stitched one of my favorite ATCs so far
7. Post an excerpt every week from one of my WIPs (can be new, old or discarded) Yeah that one didn’t go to well did it, will keep it in as a goal for April
8. Stitch Giveaway for PayitForward Giveaway Started but not finished

Ok, I guess it doesn’t look too bad, as usual the fitness and the book reviewing is being ignored, but at least all the things with deadlines got done and I did get a fair bit of stitching done.
April’s Goals won’t look too different from March, just a few changes to the stitching goals. Have a look here.

Every Month:

1. Post on my blog at least once a week
2. Post picture of my TUSAL jar on each new moon
3. Stitch a biscornu for my Basket of Biscornus
4. Stitch a Christmas ornament
5. Plot 3 new stories/plotlines
6. Write 10,000 new words (either on existing novels or new stories)
7. Read 4 books a month, and write reviews for them (Have to review 16 for April – not yet giving up hope that I’ll get this sorted out)

April Only:

1. Post an update of all current WiPs with pictures
2. 5 x cards for various occasions
3. Start a Thursday Three from the first Thursday in April
4. Restart C25K challenge as it was completely ignored for Feb and March
5. Complete Bookmark for exchange
6. 2 x ATC’s for exchange
7. Post an excerpt every week from one of my WIPs (can be new, old or discarded)
8. Stitch Giveaway for PayitForward Giveaway
9. Stitch LoveQuiltsUK square
10. Stitch minimum of two cards for charity.

A good chunk of stitching to do there, but then again i don’t have the added pressure of finishing more CJC projects. Family birthdays etc are just around the corner so there will be a lot of cards from now on, but I quite enjoy the smaller stitchings (stitchlets 🙂 )

Barbara’s cute Giveaway

Barbara, of To Stitch or Not to Stitch, has announced a giveaway on her blog. And the lucky winner will get a beautiful project holder bag, with essentials such as a shopping list memo block and pen. If you want to be in with a chance of winning it, head on over to her blog and start following it 🙂

On another, but similar, note, I’ve overwhelmed by the response to my own giveaway. 39 entries already and there is still over a week to go.

January’s Goals reviewed and February’s Goal’s Revealed

It’s time to sum up how January went in the goal department. Not to bad in my opinion, after all I only posted them towards the end of the month. The stitching goals were all reached, but the writing has been a bit slower, as has the book reviewing.

Every Month:

1. Post on my blog at least once a week
2. Post picture of my TUSAL jar on each new moon
3. Stitch a biscornu for my Basket of Biscornus (I haven’t bothered joining the official blog, I’m just gonna do it on my lonesome)
4. Stitch a Christmas ornament
5. Plot 3 new stories/plotlines – Only 1 story plotted
6. Write 10,000 new words (either on existing novels or new stories) – Approx. 7000 words written, on an oldish story
7. Read 4 books a month, and write reviews for them – Not written a single review. Bad Line

January Only:

1. Start and complete the first 15 days of the Crazy January Challenge 2011
2. Finish Emily Peacock ‘HUG’ cushion
3. Start and finish Lizzie*Kate ‘Time for God’ design as a bookmark
4. Start c25k (Couch 2 5k) training plan Only done a week, but it’s going great so far

And over to February’s Goals. I’ve decided anything not managed in a previous month will roll over to the new month. I can see some unmanageable goals in the future.

Every Month:

1. Post on my blog at least once a week
2. Post picture of my TUSAL jar on each new moon
3. Stitch a biscornu for my Basket of Biscornus (I haven’t bothered joining the official blog, I’m just gonna do it on my lonesome)
4. Stitch a Christmas ornament
5. Plot 5 new stories/plotlines
6. Write 13,000 new words (either on existing novels or new stories)
7. Read 4 books a month, and write reviews for them (have to review 8 for Feb)

February Only:
1. Finish wall hanging for mum
2. 2 x Mother’s day cards
3. Arrange Giveaway on blog
4. Finish one more projects started during Crazy January Challenge
5. Complete 4 more weeks of C25K
6. Complete Scissor fob for exchange
7. 2 x ATC’s for exchange

What’s Your Goal?

You might have noticed I didn’t bother with New Years Resolutions this year. Last year’s were ok, I kept to most of them, but didn’t want to do it like that again this year. For 2011 I’ve decided I want to go with monthly goals. On the 1st of each month I’ll post my goals, some will be the same month after month, others will be month specific. On the 1st I’ll also post a summery of how I’ve done on the month just gone, just to keep score.

I realize we’re almost at the end of January, but I really think I should post the goal for this month, after all one should start as one means to go on.

Every Month:

1. Post on my blog at least once a week
2. Post picture of my TUSAL jar on each new moon
3. Stitch a biscornu for my Basket of Biscornus (I haven’t bothered joining the official blog, I’m just gonna do it on my lonesome)
4. Stitch a Christmas ornament
5. Plot 3 new stories/plotlines
6. Write 10,000 new words (either on existing novels or new stories)
7. Read 4 books a month, and write reviews for them

January Only:

1. Start and complete the first 15 days of the Crazy January Challenge 2011
2. Finish Emily Peacock ‘HUG’ cushion
3. Start and finish Lizzie*Kate ‘Time for God’ design as a bookmark
4. Start c25k (Couch 2 5k) training plan

I’m sure I had a few more, but those are the ones which came to mind. Please come back on the 1st to see February’s goals and so how I got on with this month’s list.

Do you have any goals for this month, or this year?
Tell us about them!

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