But I only said a trim!!!

*WaRniNg* this is a short post but starts with a rant….one word…HAIRDRESSER!! or should that be two?!?!

The words “I would just like a trim” have most likely been uttered by many many women (and men) only to come out an hour later with a short, back and sides!! Ok, so it wasn’t quite that bad but let’s just say I went in for said hair cut with hair a good couple of inches of hair below my shoulders and came out with it a good 3 inches above!!!!

After a couple of days crying every time I looked in the mirror at the loss of length and curls, I calmed down and decided to pull myself together…there are far worse things to be faced with for goodness sake…so I decided to go with it and ’embellish’ my locks with something pretty…and came up with this little project involving some fabric in my stash and lace trim from something I’d picked apart…

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do you dig those funky pins??!

I love some quick and oh so easy sewing…I drafted a very simple pattern and voilà! “The Butterflies” headband was born…

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Though to be honest you can’t really see the beautiful butterflies on this leftover quilting cotton I used…never mind, it is pretty, honest!
I put in some plastic coated wire so I can ‘twist’ the headband together which looks like a big bow and bonus…it stays put!!

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Really pleased with how it turned out and I’m definitely going to make some more for summer! What do you think?
This is a great little sew for beginners as it’s so easy. If anyone would like me to blog a tutorial with measurements etc, let me know!

That’s it for now.
Kate x

The not so accidental crochet cowl!

I originally had a ball of Rowan’s thick ‘n’ thin yarn from my lovely children for Christmas. I decided to crochet myself a cowl..so bought an extra ball or two and began. Trouble was, the yarn wasn’t really suitable for the pattern and I needed a lot more yarn! So I unravelled, chose another pattern and made this….

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It’s a beautiful yarn…exactly that…thick and then thin..it almost self patterns as you crochet. Lovely and chunky, I crocheted this up on the largest hook I had, a size 9. This created a lovely open pattern with a soft drape. Very snug!

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I found this pattern on Ravelry which, if you haven’t looked at before, you must! It’s a fab forum and library of knitting and crochet patterns..many of which are free or at a very minimal fee to purchase them. You can store your patterns in your own library…so much going on there to detail here so take a look!

The pattern I chose, ‘The Accidental Cowl’ is also available direct from Elizabeth’s blog Crochet in Color and it’s incredibly simple to follow and suitable for a beginner.

I made a few changes…I chained a few extra on the foundation round because I wanted the cowl a little longer. I also did not crochet in the round but joined the finished piece once I’d completed enough rows that gave me the width I wanted…I just kept doing rows, ending each row with a chain 3 and turn and followed Elizabeth’s instructions for the rows. It was very simple.

The yarn is so pretty and I adore the emerald green colour. I think this Rowan yarn is perfect for a beginner as it did not split at all as you work it, which is a plus in my book and works up really quickly! Bingo!

I used just under four 50 gram balls for this cowl.

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I even blocked it to finish it properly! That was simple too, though it did take about 3 days to dry as it’s so thick! I’ve had loads of compliments about it and I will make another one or certainly some for presents for next Christmas! I may try the Sirdar Big Softee next time as its much cheaper and similar to work with and comes in an array of beautiful colours.

Hope you like it too! Have any if you knitted with the Rowan thick ‘n’ thin yarn before? what did you make?

p.s. sorry about the ropey photography and subject…not easy taking selfies from far enough away!!

This is progress, I’m sure it is…

HaPpY nEw YeAr!!!!

Is this a bit late? well, that’s not unlike me…hope you all had a great Christmas and New Year…so now it’s business as usual. Many of you may already have returned to work but for me that’s tomorrow (the joys of working term time only!) and the ankle biters are back at school too! It’s been all last minute ‘hunt the PE kit’ in the house today.

Having only recently made the promise to myself (NYR) aka New Year Resolution…to knuckle down and actually make those clothes I so want to this year, I’ve not got much to show and tell, other than projects on the go or in the pipeline!

So, without further ado, here are a few….

Crochet
My adorable children, 1,2 & 3, bought me some yarn for Christmas…I’ve made a lovely chunky headband for my eldest with one of the balls of yarn and now her friend (in the Netherlands) wants one…so have chosen this Barbe à Papa of a yarn (French for Candyfloss don’t you know!) as she loves baby pink! Excuse the terrible photo quality as it’s so dark all the time…

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Almost finished it but need an extra ball of yarn for the last piece!! So annoying as my daughter’s worked with the one ball!!

But look at what I have to use to
crochet with…

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What a wonderful Christmas present!! A full set of hooks all the way up to a size 10 in a gorgeous red aluminium…my favourite to crochet with…and in a polka dot case!!! I was thrilled with this!

My Anna dress toile is making slow but good progress, but as yet I’ve no fabric for the real one…I thought I had but it wasn’t enough…boo! So I need to choose something. In the meantime, I’ve started on my Miette Wrap skirt from the lovely Tilly and The Buttons…

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It took me a while to piece the printed pattern pieces together as I’ve not done this before but it weirdly was quite enjoyable!! I’ve got some great fabric so watch this space……

I made another of Tilly’s fake fur collar for another friend, which is her free downloadable pattern available here
•**•free pattern•**• and is super easy…actually need to make mine!!!

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Again, please excuse the picture quality…even with the flash on it’s so dark in my house at the moment!

The last project in my queue is my Simplicity 2451 skirt that I’ve just found some material from my stash to use. I love this skirt! Well, at least on everyone else I’ve seen it on it looks gorgeous…I’m hoping that I’ve not got some warped sense of thinking it’ll look good on me like it does on other women…will have to see! I’ve got a suitable zip but am now considering one in a different colour for a slightly more unusual look…if you like that exposed zip in a contrast colour thing, which I do!

So, I have quite a bit to be getting on with for now…and somewhere, somehow, in between working, three school children and their homework, after school clubs, taxi service, rabbits, dog etc etc…I will make time to sew!!! Even if it’s the odd hour here or there, I’ve promised myself this year…because sewing makes me very content..yes, it can be frustrating…but learning a new skill and making something is progress…rewarding, relaxing and with a great sense of satisfaction. I’m dedicating my Friday day off work to giving myself at least an hour of sewing time…stuff the hoovering!! I’ll take over the kitchen for a bit of self indulgence.

How often do you get to sew? do you have a dedicated sewing space?

So here’s to a positive start to 2014…chin! chin!

Kate x

Crochet fingerless mittens…try taking these babies off!

This is a very short and quick post!!! I just wanted to show you these beautiful (well, it’s only one in the photo as I had to use the camera with the other hand!) …where was I? oh yes, some beautiful crocheted fingerless mittens. This pattern is free from the lovely Made with Loops for the wonderful Brenhines Eira “Snow Queen” fingerless mittens pattern. Here is my version….

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I made them using some beautiful Debbie Bliss Blue Faced Leicester yarn in a gorgeous mustard, and a sort of powder blue Rowan alpaca…they are just so soft and boy are they warm! These are my first attempt so I’m pretty pleased with how they turned out…I’m already thinking of the next pair!

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I’m not super speedy at crochet but these are quick to make up and easy too…fancy having a go? I think they’d make a great Christmas present if you can prize them off your own hands first!! Follow the Made With Loops link above for the pattern!!

Kate x

p.s. I’m not sure if I’ve set up my twitter and Instagram links properly but you can find me on both; Twitter @thepolkadotroom and Instagram thepolkadotroom

Crochet tea light jar cover….am I the oldest teacher’s pet??

Today was the end of term for my two boys….they have been coming out of school all week laden with bags, books, cards, and more books! Most importantly they each won a class year medal…one for ‘effort’ one for ‘citizenship’ their faces when they showed me….so proud of themselves as am I!

I was given a gift by one of their teachers….a beautiful butterfly lavender! I’m a lavender lover, a lover of lavender….

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The scent is gorgeous…..

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It is always very touching to be thought of like this, especially when it’s unexpected as we’re normally the ones giving the presents!

I find this whole present idea quite a challenge. What do you give the person you’ve perhaps only met a handful of times?

I decided to buy one thing and make one thing….so the make one thing was this crochet jar cover….and it was very well received I am happy to say!

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I found the pattern and fantastic picture tutorial over on Lululoves do take a look at this blog…photography is wonderful, beautifully presented, packed full of helpful information and some brilliant tutorials! This jar cover tutorial also has a pdf version to download. Just click on the link Lululoves for her brilliant picture tutorial.

Whilst talking about crochet…for any of you new to crochet or even thinking about starting or just love reading and sharing with other like minded people about crochet, take a look at this fantastic crochet event taking place online, Crochet Camp 2013 and get involved. It’s been running since beginning of July and is ongoing, with advice, support and tutorials and projects for you to follow at your own pace; everything from basic stitches to type of yarn….There’s also a Facebook page, so take a look!! Whoops, I digress!! where was I? Oh yes, my jar cover…..

I used a Debbie Bliss cotton yarn in a sort of nude pink? for the jar cover. It is easy to use and creates a lovely finished stitch and helps to bring out the shell pattern. Unfortunately I didn’t get time to take pics with a tea light in and lit as it was broad daylight! I’m really pleased with finished result though, especially the lovely ribbon trim I had lurking around in my stash!

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It’s been another warm hot and emotional day for many children and parents whose children are leaving school to move on to secondary school. This evening brought a welcome cooler temperature and breeze and as the sun was setting the sky was amazing, a ‘beau ciel’ filled with an almost, explosion of clouds of different shapes and sizes….wonderful….can you see the one that looks like it has tentacles??

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What has today brought for you? Have you had to run the gauntlet of the end of term teacher’s presents? What are you planning for the school holidays?

Kate x

Crochet granny bunting triangles…..it’s cold, it’s wet, it’s June….but there’s always room for some of these to inject a bit of cheer….ooh, and a Cub camp blanket!

Goodness, it has been a long very long time since my last post… I’ve been very preoccupied with all sorts of things and not had much time to do too much on the creative front.

We very sadly and very unexpectedly lost our darling little French lop rabbit, Myrtle…….

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Such a shock….we’d not had her long and she was only 3 months old. I was more taken by surprise as to how upset I was, and for days…..but then if you have animals they do become part of your family and that’s the way it should be. The children were so sad, particularly my youngest son. So we brought her home and buried her in the back garden beneath the raspberry shrub….mini crochet bunting was made and a little pot of pink faux flowers….and the children popped little shells in with her, collected from our holiday last year in Brittany, each individually kissed as they were placed next to her. I am constantly amazed at just how beautiful children can be in thought and word and deed….

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The picture quality is awful and doesn’t do it justice. They made a little willow arch (as she loved to nibble away at this). It didn’t last too long as the heat of the one day of warm sun we had quickly wilted it but hopefully the little bunting will last longer….

This brought me to having a go at some normal size bunting, crocheted granny triangles, to be precise, as the mini version was so sweet. I’d seen this pattern over at pinkfluffywarrior and loved her designs especially with the flowers added. So I decided to have a go at some and was rather pleased with the results….what do you think?

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Quite pleased with these even if I do say so myself! They’re a great stash user upper and evening/pool side time passer….I’m just going to keep making them as I fancy and see where they end up….probably my daughter’s birthday?

Meanwhile, the middle one had a Cub camp last week. Cub camp blankets are a must but they’d all sold out, everywhere! So I decided to make one. It would be bigger, far lovelier and personal and he was SO happy with it!! Result!

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I even personalised it with his initial! It’s a gorgeous teddy fleece material which I bound the edges with a suitable ‘cub’ colour! Tricky to sew as very thick fleece and boy, the fluff it shredded everywhere! Still, it was a resounding success as was the camp! One happy smokey smelling boy returned home happy, if not a little grubby!

Enjoy your weekend…..whatever you’re up to, K x

Crochet granny triangles :: pompom trimming :: lace :: Beginners sewing guide fab find!

Half term is almost over, which despite being a full on time at home, is a long awaited week away from work, time with the children and a break from old routine….. We’ve spent a lot of time outside, including in the garden, which is such a joy to just sit in the sun…and crochet

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This was me following Lucy’s latest crochet triangle bunting pattern over at
Attic24 and I was having a little tea and crochet time with some odds and ends of yarn.

Even the dog was enjoying the rays…..

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I took an afternoon trip to Brighton with my man and the eldest one, for some lunch and a much wanted browse through the lovely Dïtto Fabric shop in the North Laines. I just adore this shop….they’ve just celebrated their 30th year and I remember being a regular visitor when they first opened, buying little squares of fabric off cuts and ribbon to make lavender bags! My wedding dress was made using some of their fabric and a wonderful dressmaker who had her studio just round the corner…..and came as a recommendation from the shop.

Still have the dress….but not the figure!!!

Anyway, I digress. I popped in there as I needed a few trimmings for some projects that needed finishing off….but it’s so hard not to just buy their little bags made up using a mélange of ribbons, lace, etc….a sort of pick ‘n’ mix! I managed to contain myself and just ended up with these…..

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Isn’t this pom pom trim divine?? All washed down with some beautiful stretch elastic lace….the green is a beautiful chartreuse but unfortunately it doesn’t show up so well in the photo…

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Lovely heh? I’m saving this lace as I’d love to have a go at making a pair of Tap pants (after my success with my Trixie knickers….just need to find a pattern I like.

A visit to a friend had me rehoming a piece of fabric she no longer wanted and was lying enticingly by the recycle bin, and I couldn’t resist!! It’s a small piece only but could be used for all sorts of little things…. I need a sunglasses case so could go on a make for that….
Here it is…….

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See what I mean? Gorgeous colours and prints…..this came from Dïtto fabrics but sadly it’s a discontinued print 😦 still, I could just look at it in all its’ turquoise splendour!! So maybe adding it onto a cushion cover to maximise its’ daily viewing….what would you use it for I wonder?

Finally, I received a brilliant package in the post in the week….it’s a vital resource to get into sewing clothes which are more than just two pieces of fabric stitched together!! Actually I’m being a bit unfair on myself….. I have put in zips, waistbands, button holes, binding and sewn elastic in the Trixie knickers, but not yet tackled sleeves, collars and more complex patterns….and it’s been a while since I’ve made any clothing. I desperately want to get into making as many of my own clothes as possible. I’ve got a couple of items to start and complete but felt I could do with a handy reference book….which is why I bought this……

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I did quite a lot of research into good sewing reference books and this Reader’s Digest got lots of rave reviews. From what I’ve read so far it does seem really very good….detailed but with great easy to understand explanations and it also gives you cross references when looking something up…..such as if you’re looking up making bias strips, it will give you page and reference for clipping or making notches in fabric for arm holes for instance….brilliant! So there’s really no excuse for me to not get going…..just need to make sure I actually take some time to start….and do it!!!

Hope you all have had a great half term, whether you have any ankle biters or not!! Kate x

Vintage crochet finds & make your own camera case challenge!!

The ‘vintage’ cardigan….oh I do love eBay

Every now and then I manage to find little gems on eBay or in a charity shop that have friends remarking on how lovely something is and where did I buy it from….. I always feel a sense of satisfaction when I tell them it was second hand from one of the above…one of my recent finds was this little crochet cardigan…cute heh?

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It originally came with a large voile like ribbon on it, which I have taken off because it did give it rather a ‘bed jacket’ type look!! I need to have a think about what else to use to ‘button up’ the cardigan if I need to…ribbon, button or something…and I may even embellish it a bit with some crochet roses…hmm, need to have a think about that. In the meantime, I just used a little brooch I have to close it.

But I couldn’t stop there………

Oh no…I then found this original 1970’s crochet shrug (I guess you’d call it) or maybe a wrap?? whatever it is, it’s lovely. Thick, fluffy yarn that has come in very handy during the recent ongoing cold weather, when I’ve been sat in bed reading….perfect for keeping those shoulders warm! I’m thinking that this little number will also come in handy for the summer evenings (well, eventually it may turn summery!!) over a summer dress….

vintage shrug @ the polka dot room

vintage shrug @ the polka dot room

This photo doesn’t really show it off to it’s best, but that’s the best I can do without having to get too much of myself in the picture!! oh ladies…what are we like??!!

Moving on to my ‘productivity’ days….aka my day off or the day I do not go to work….I think this shall now be named ‘Frantic Fridays’ as this is the day I try and catch up with all the things I have had little chance to do in the week…you know, the day that you look around the house and realise that all the cleaning and tidying you did last weekend has now worn off and ‘things’ are creeping across the floor and hemming you in again! whilst still desperately hoping to find an hour or two to actually make something!!!

Frantic Friday :: Make your own camera case….but watch those measurements!!!

Hmmm…well, yes, the reason I say watch the measurements, is that a dear friend of mine asked if I could make her a camera case for her new present. I was more than happy to oblige. Camera delivered. Measurements taken. Notebook out. Work commenced.

camera case @ the polka dot room

So far, so good………

camera case make @ the polka dot room

And that is where things started to go a bit…well..wrong! Magnetic closure in…check…until I realised I’d put one in the wrong side of a fabric piece!! which meant that the case now was not polka dots on the outside and lined in the green and cream, but half polka dot and half lining fabric for the outside!! And then the final nail in the coffin?? it was too small for the camera!!!! arghhhh! Gosh, I’m really not sure how this happened. I had taken such care over the measurements…perhaps it was that I had got my seam allowances wrong when the batting was in place…who knows!

camera case make @ the polka dot room

Not too sure about the button…I think it might be a bit much, or maybe it’s just too large, or overly fussy…so that might come off! The back of the case should have been spotty, but I guess that makes it ‘quirky’ !! Overall, I suppose I shouldn’t be so hard on myself…it was not bad for a first attempt I guess…back to the drawing board…..

I then came along this quote on my Pinterest recommendations, which I thought very apt for me…..

Make beautiful things poster

And finally……. talking of beautiful…..

Popped to the ‘Tennis Cafe’ at our local park today, providing ice creams for the middle and smallest ones….I couldn’t resist taking a photo of this beautiful rose on our table, as the sun shone through it’s petals…….

beautiful orange rose @ the polka dot room

Enjoy the rest of the bank holiday weekend my lovelies, and here’s hoping the sun keeps shining, Kate x

And along came the “Mini Myrtle” granny square…..

Remember my recent post with my “Myrtle” granny square?

The Myrtle granny square

Well, I had some really  positive feedback on it, thank you! and have since been dabbling with some more….generally looking at colour combinations or block colour, but have kept them a little smaller, hence the “mini” Myrtle…….

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Please accept my apologies for the floor photos…..does my wooden floor really look that “shabby”??!! seems so, and that’s going to be something to work on at some point too!

Anyway, back to the granny squares…….

These are just some of the colours I have been trying out in a block colour….not sure if the photos do the colours justice (that’ll be the phone camera) but they are a beautiful buttery yellow, a french grey and a pistachio (?) green……

I’ve used a double knit (dk) wool and wool/mix Sirdar and Debbie Bliss yarns.

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I really enjoy using cotton yarn ordinarily as I find it a little easier to crochet with than wool or wool mixes, but that probably has something to do with my inexperience ( as I have only been crocheting for a year), well, that’s my excuse!

Not having any cotton yarn at the moment in colours that I fancy, I’ve gone with these yarns, but I think they’ve worked quite well.

**I would like to point out that I haven’t finished weaving in the ends of the yarn yet, so you might be able to see the odd scraggy ends poking out here and there!!** And I haven’t put a border on these squares as I had in my larger version….but I think I’ll try

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I’m just making these smaller versions (3 rounds plus the centre) as I find them quite addictive! I take them to the swimming pool when the children are having lessons, watching tv, in bed, anywhere that I might find myself just hanging around!  I can’t stop myself!!

Is it just me or does anyone else find these a bit of an obsession??

I have now mastered the art of the ‘Magic Ring’ which I love as it’s so neat and tidy. What I intend on doing with these granny squares I am not yet sure. I would like to put them together for a cushion for my daughter…perhaps not these colours…oh dear, that means I must make more and…..buy some more yarn? surely not?!

Watch this space folks…. night night, Kate x

WHOOP! WHOOP! SUPER SWEET BLOGGING AWARD!! **hApPy**

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SUPER SWEET BLOGGING AWARD!!!!

I’ve just been nominated for the Super Sweet Blogging Award by Gray over at http://www.graycrochet.wordpress.com  and to say I am a little surprised is an understatement!!! Thank you Gray…thank you so so much…it is extremely flattering and such a confidence boost when you’ve just started a blog :))  and I cannot say thank you enough!!!!

It took me a lot of umming and ahhing to decide whether I should start up my own blog. I’m sure you can understand where I’m coming from…..I have loved and learnt so much and continue to love and learn so much from other blogs about the things I love to do…crochet, sew, craft….I only wish I had more time to do these things. So to finally decide that maybe someone else may be inspired to pick up some yarn or get out their sewing machine, after reading my blog…well, you couldn’t really ask for more! this is what happened to me. I started reading my first blog….Lucy @ Attic24,  after a dear friend taught me my first crochet basics just over a year ago. Lucy is pretty infamous, but I have learnt a great deal from reading her posts and wonderful tutorials. I am only just getting started but have more and more confidence every day. So, here’s to all those wonderful teachers and tutors of all things creative….ThAnKyOu…..ThAnKyOu

Well, what would an award be without rules, right?  So… on to those!

THE RULES:
Copy & Paste This Whole Post and Replace All Your Information — who awarded you, for example.

1. Thank the Super Sweet Blogger that nominated you.
2. Answer 5 Super Sweet questions.
3. Include the Super Sweet Blogging Award in your blog post.
4. Nominate a baker’s dozen (13) other deserving bloggers.
5. Notify your Super Sweet nominees on their blog.

THE 5 SUPER SWEET QUESTIONS:

1 – Cookies or Cake?
CAKE!! always cake and always chocolate!! and coffee cake would come a close second!

2 – Chocolate or Vanilla?
CHOCOLATE of course!!

3 – Favorite Sweet Treat?
Green & Blacks 58% Milk Chocolate or their Butterscotch milk chocolate…

4 – When Do You Crave Sweet Things The Most?
With a cup of tea!! totally english I know and probably extremely predictable, but after a long walk there’s nothing like stopping on route, opening a flask of tea and eating something chocolatey!

5 – Sweet nick name?

I’ve been called KitKat…but my all time sweetest name is my children calling me “mumma” I love this!

Now for the hard part.  So MANY deserving of this award, and too many really to choose from, but here goes…..  (and I am not nominating Gray @ graycrochet because I am assuming that is not allowed!) sorry Gray.

MY 13 NOMINEES FOR THIS AMAZING AWARD ARE…

  1. Sandra at Cherry Heart
  2. Angie at Le Monde de Sucrette
  3. MaLora at Bird and Bicycle
  4. Emily at Creates and Bakes
  5. Joanne at Stitch and Twitter
  6. Claire at Knit and Purl Garden
  7. Amy at Cloud Cou Cou Crafts
  8. Pippa at Auntie Pippa
  9. Alison at My Home Makes
  10. Claire at Claireabelle Makes
  11. Ali at Very Berry Handmade
  12. Janette at The Green Dragonfly
  13. Lucy at Attic24

Congratulations to all my nominees….you have given me much longed for and looked forward to bedtime reading…a pleasure at the end of my day to indulge in colour, creativity, inspiring posts and projects and a window into the lives of like minded individuals….I love it and I love your blogs! Thank you again to the lovely Gray for nominating me and giving me this award. I shall treasure this. Bonne Nuit xx