Monday, 12 November 2012

Pink panther over u rok

I have new mani for you. I started with two basecoats - rejuvacote and gelous. This is an experiment to see if it'll be easier to remove the glitters later.
I put two coats of MUA U Rok from the love hearts collection next. The thin consistency and stubby brush made for difficult application. The resultant coat was streaky, but I wasn't too worried as I knew that I'd be adding the next coat: Pink Panther by Different Dimensions.
I found the glitter came out of the bottle and on my nails much easier than most other glitters. At first I thought this was great but as I moved onto my other nails, and it was too clumpy. I have ordered some nail polish thinner but it hasn't arrived yet, so I persevered.
One final coat of gelous for a smooth finish.
Overall I like this mani but it wasn't as easy to achieve as these kind of manis usually are.
I'm going to dig around to find my light box but in the meantime here is a quick pic. Oh! And btw this is the first time I'm using the Blogger app on my phone so I'm interested to see how this looks.

Edited to add pic, since Blogger app didn't work :(

Friday, 27 July 2012

Reversible Kindle Envelope Cozy

Reversible Kindle Envelope Cozy

I wanted to make a new case for my kindle. I looked through my stash and found a skein of  SMC Select Tweed Deluxe, which I'd bought on a whim. The cozy was originally going to be one sided, but after playing with the pattern, I decided that I like both sides, so sewed it up so that it can be used either way:
Side A

Side B

Side B closed

Side A closed

I was going to use a fastener, but since I use either side alternately, I haven't added one, plus it's easier to get out of my bag when in tube rush hour.


1 skein SMC Select Tweed Deluxe (80m, colour 07144)

7mm needles
Tapestry needle

Cast on 32sts.
Row 1 and all odd rows (Side A): Purl
Row 2  and 4 (Side B): *K1, sl 7 purlwise; rep from * to end.
Row 6 and 8: *K2, sl 5 purlwise wyb, k1; rep from * to end.
Row 10 and 12: : *K3, sl 3 purlwise wyb, k2; rep from * to end.
Row 14: *K4, sl 1 purlwise wyb, k3; rep from * to end.
Row 16 and 18: *Sl 4 purlwise wyb, k1, sl 3 purlwise wyb; rep from * to end.
Row 20 and 22: *Sl 3 purlwise wyb, k3, sl 2 purlwise wyb; rep from * to end.
Row 24 and 26: *Sl 2 purlwise wyb, k5, sl 1 purlwise wyb; rep from * to end.
Row 28: *Sl 1 purlwise wyb, k7; rep from * to end.

Repeat 1 to 28 three times.
Repeat rows 1-21.
Cast off knitwise.

Steam block the piece to 31cm by 19cm.
Fold along the short side (19cm side) to about 14cm. Sew sides and voila!

Friday, 20 July 2012

Crazy Pave Green

Received my stamping stuff from Born Pretty today. I placed the order over a month ago, so was worried that it wouldn't arrive. The plates are quite small, so I think it'll take practice to get good coverage. Here is my first attempt, using China Glaze Re-fresh Mint for the base and the green stamping paint I'd ordered:

Sunday, 6 May 2012

Marine Gradient Nails

Today is my first attempt at a gradient mani. I used China Glaze Electric Beat as my base. I used H&M's Bella's Choice and Nails Inc Seven Dials for the secondary colours. Unfortunately my cam phone hasn't taken very good pics of this mani.

I'm quite happy with this mani, but would like to have used a glitter coat - next on my shopping list!

Monday, 30 April 2012

Quinoa Burgers

Today, whilst raiding the cupboards to make my brunch, I found a packet of quinoa. I also found a courgette and lots of cheeses in the fridge. This is what I came up with.

served with tahini
They are v tasty, but next time I make this, I'll make a couple of alterations - the mixture prior to cooking was very gloopy. I think I added too many eggs and cream cheese. I added more flour to make it less gloopy, but I was worried that the flavour would be lost. That said, I've eaten 4 of them already and am happily stuffed!

Anyway, here is what I did, with notes in green.

To make 10 burgers:
1 cup raw quinoa
2 cups water           
2 tbl cheddar cheese, grated           
1 tbl cream cheese         I may miss this out next time   
1 tbl feta cheese, diced            
1 courgette, grated
3 eggs                           I will try with 1 next time, maybe 2
6 tbl plain flour             I started with 3 tbl, but added more to make the mixture more solid.
2 spring onions, finely diced            
fresh black pepper           
sea salt           
1 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp parsley            
1 clove garlic, crushed           
olive oil for frying            

  1. Bring the water to the boil. Add some salt and the quinoa. Lower the heat and cover for about 10 minutes or until all the water is absorbed.
  2. In the meantime, squeeze the grated courgette to remove excess juice.
  3. Mix all the ingredients together. Refrigerate for 20mins to make the patties easier to work with. 
  4. Heat some oil in a frying pan on a medium-high heat.
  5. Drop a ladleful of the mixture into the pan. I got about 4 burgers in the pan. Leave to cook for about 3 minutes and form a crust. Flip the burgers and cook for another 3-4 minutes on the other side.
  6. Put the cooked burgers on a plate covered with kitchen roll to absorb the excess oil. Repeat until all the burgers are cooked. 
waiting to be eaten

Saturday, 28 April 2012

Electric Beats and Grape Pop

Just a quick couple of pics of my second swirl attempt, using China Glaze Electric Beat and Grape Pop. This time I taped up my fingers with parcel tape to keep most of the varnish off my fingers. This worked really well. After I removed the tape, there wasn't much cleaning up needed. Unfortunately, I wanted to re-do a nail (it was too pale compared to other nails) and couldn't use the tape, else I'd have messed up my other nails.

I also used softened water, rather than tap water. I think this helped keep the swirls more vibrant, but not entirely sure. What do you think?

Saturday, 21 April 2012

Cable Rib Beanie Pattern

I know! Two posts in one day, but I've finished writing this pattern, so I had to post. This is the first pattern that I have properly written and published. This hat is knitted using the magic loop method. 
As you get closer to the crown, you may want to switch to DPNs, however, I found it manageable on circulars using magic loop. 

I intend to add a fleece lining, so I will post again with instructions to make a beanie lining. In the meantime, enjoy!
This beanie will fit an average adult head - my head measures 55cm in circumference, whereas DH's head is 60cm. The beanie fits both of us :)
--- o0o ---

Quantity Yarn Shade
Main 2 skeins Debbie Bliss Rialto Chunky Duck Egg [43011]
Contrast 1 skeinDebbie Bliss Rialto Chunky Bullrush [43010]
1 skein of the above yarn is 50g/60m. The actual amount I used was 87g/105m of main colour and about 16g/19m of contrast.

14 sts per 10cm in st st

6mm circular needle
Cable needle
6mm DPNs (optional)
Stitch marker

Special Abbreviations
C6B Put next 3 sts on cable holder and leave at back of work, K3, then K3 from holder

Knitting Instructions
Cast on 64 sts with contrast colour using a stretchy cast on, such as TillyBuddy's or long tail.
Join in the round, being careful not to twist sts.
Place stitch marker to indicate start of round.

Round 1 In contrast colour, *K6, P2; Repeat from * to end.
Change to main colour
Round 2 - 12 *K6, P2; Repeat from * to end.
Round 13 round 13: *C6B, P2, K6; Repeat from * to end.
Round 14 - 21 Repeat round 2
Round 22 *K6, P2, C6B; Repeat from * to end.
Round 23 - 27 Repeat round 2.
Round 28 Repeat round 13.
Round 29 - 34 Repeat round 2.
Round 35 Repeat round 22.
Round 36 - 39 Repeat round 2.
The body should measure 17cm.

Crown shaping
Switch to DPNs if you prefer.
Round 1 *C6B, P2tog, K6 ; rpt from * to last 2 sts, p2tog  [56 sts]
Round 2 *K5, K2tog; rpt from * to end  [48 sts]
Round 3 *K4, K2tog; rpt from * to end  [40 sts]
Round 4 *K3, K2tog; rpt from * to end  [32 sts]
Round 5 *K2, K2tog; rpt from * to end  [24 sts]
Round 6 *K1, K2tog; rpt from * to end  [16 sts]
Round 7 *K2tog; rpt from * to end  [8 sts]
Round 8 *K2tog; rpt from * to end  [4 sts]
Break yarn and thread through remaining 4 sts and tighten to close. 

Weave in all ends.

Cookies and Painted Swirls

Last night, after coming back from the pub, I decided to bake some choc nut cookies. I didn't have a large enough tray, so the cookies spread into the corners of my tray and into each other. Whilst they look a bit wonky, they taste scrummy.

The recipe calls for 1 egg plus 1 yolk. In my drunkeness, I separated the white into my mixing bowl :( So I ended up putting 2 eggs into the dough. I'll definitely use this recipe again, but will attempt it with 1 egg and 1yolk, not 2 eggs!

--- o0o ---

Today I decided to try a new technique called Swirl. Using a bowl of water, a stylus and three varnishes, I painted my nails with some fun swirls. This technique has great effects, but is quite messy.

Barry M Yellow, Nails Inc Shoreditch and Seven Dials 
I worked on my right hand first, the swirls are quite subtle. It wasn't easy taking pics with one hand of the other hand using a camera phone, but managed to take some pics.

As I got more confident with technique, the swirls became more vibrant; so the colour on my left hand is bolder.

When I finished, I went to collect the post and some new varnishes had arrived :)
China Glaze Electric Beat, Seche Vite, China Glaze Grape Pop
I think I will try the swirl technique again with these two colours, perhaps after I've applied a base colour first.

Thursday, 19 April 2012

My Daft Cat

Marley is an odd cat.

He likes sticking his head into jugs of water.

 He won't use the ginormous activity centre we got him, but he'll sleep on the ironing board.

He's still goregous though :)

Friday, 13 April 2012

Guarding Bum Fodder and Wall Paint

March 2012 FOs

I completed a few projects this past month :)

April 2012 WIPs

Saving the Wall Paint
I've been trying to think of a way to stop my favourite clock, which has a raw edged metal frame, from scratching the wall paint in the living room. I first thought about using bubble wrap or something similar, but ended up glueing some scrap ywarn (Rowan Big Wool) to the frame.


can barely see the yarn from this angle
but you can see it from the side
It's working, but it's not the pretty; so I'm going to knit a cover for the frame.

Bender the first Guardian of the Bum Fodder
I've also recently been working on a toilet roll cover based on the robot Bender from Futurama:

I was not too keen on this at first, as there is a lot of sewing involved, but he's coming along nicely. More notes on him can be found here.
Bender in progress
Debbie Abrahams Mystery Blanket 2012
This is progressing nicely, but I've not taken any pics as yet. Unfortunately I'm still 2 months behind, as I joined in March, but the project started in January. TBH, I think I'll always be 2 mths behind, as I have other projects on the go. Nemmind!

Friday, 30 March 2012

Mother's Day and Stitch & Craft

This Mother's day, I took my Mum to the Stitch and Craft show at Olympia. There was an exhibition of quilts donated for each of the participating countries in the Olympics and Paralympics. There were also a pennant for each sportsperson. The work was amazing! Here are some examples:
say cheese!

close up of the above

zooming out a bit

zoom zoom zoom

ahhhh, pretty

had to have a purple one!

maths can be so pretty

London Roads by Jacqui Bradburn for Greece, Olympics - sadly a bit blurry

A green and pleasant land by Patricia Webb for Belarus, Paralympics - My favourite
We had a great time, walking around looking at all the amazing work and buying lots of nice things. We both *really* liked the textile art by Gilda Baron. We couldn't take any pics, but here is an example of her work.

Country Garden courtesy of Gilda Baron

Sadly the pic does not do her art justice. We like her so much, that I'm thinking of doing her course.

I wanted to take some pics of all the yarn and notions I bought, but DH took it all to our storage unit :( However, from what I can remember:
I thought I was being good packing the yarn away, but now I want to start a new project. But is probably a good thing as it means I'm more likely to finish the projects I have started already. 

Finally I should mention the knitted village - very cute. More pics:

Second Prize, I think it should have been 1st prize

First Prize

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

The Dangers of Convalescing

Where did the past six months go? DH and I have been doing some major redecorating....
  • New uPVC double-glazed windows fitted - thanks to DH and FIL
  • The entire flat was repainted whilst we were in MRU- thanks to Kevin et al
  • Bathroom made good - thanks to DH, Scott, Kevin et al
  • New curtains hung - thanks to DH
  • New washing m/c fitted after a couple of blips - thanks to DH and FIL
To achieve all this, a major chunk of our belongings have been put into storage. This means almost all of my stash is in storage, which has given me the chance to focus on just a couple of projects. This year's resolution was to complete the projects I have kept in the flat before starting any new ones.... I started so well.

I completed DH's chunky cable cardigan.

hello cheeky

And a couple of mini projects

Longer Marian


Land Girl WIP
Close up of Land Girl


 With Mothering Sunday nearly upon us, I started the shawl for MOB - luckily this was already in the stash at home, so more progress has been made.

Unfortunately, I caught a chest infection that developed into pneumonia. I was hospitalised for a few days and have been convalescing ever since. So whilst I progressed with Land Girl in hospital, I  spent far too much time internet shopping whilst recuperating.... and I bought a lot of yarn for a number of projects. My Ravelry queue is now HUUUGE! So here are some of newest projects for the top of the queue:
  • Slipper soles - slippers/boots for myself and DH
  • Aran yarn for an afghan style blanket
  • Debbie Abrahams Mystery Blanket Club
  • Upper Cut dress by Geilsk
  • Spring form cardigan by Geilsk
  • Cupcake tea cosy by Laughing Hens
Today, I went to JJ Wool and Crafts in Chingford, to buy more yarn - for Baby Smith, who was born yesterday :)

So looks like I'll be busy over the coming months!