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28 February 2013

Thrifty purchases

I found out yesterday, from a lovely work colleague, about a little charity shop at one of the two hospital sites that I work at. Well, today being Thursday is my day at t'other site and so, as soon as the clock struck midday, I was up and out into the sunshine to find said charity shop. 

Run by two lovely volunteer ladies, it's not like any other charity shop I've been to before. For starters, it's in a portacabin! Inside was a whole mixture of clothes, pottery, games, books and more. 

After a gentle browse I was just about to say my goodbyes when I noticed a little corner full of buttons, haberdashery and loads of lovely knitting needles and patterns!! As I'm sure you can imagine, for those of you that know my love of all things haberdashery related and of course, knitting related, I did a mental punch in the air!

As I couldn't remember for the life of me what size knitting needles I own, I've decided to go back next week with a list of those sizes that I own, so that I can snap them all up. To keep myself quiet until then, I picked up these cute pieces for the amazing price of £1.50 for the lot! Blimey!

I really love these charcoal grey buttons, especially next to the bright yellow ones. 

I love how these metal buttons are slightly worn, giving them a shabby chic look.

For those of you who aren't familiar with knitting accessories, don't worry, this isn't a large pin to hold my briefs up! Ha ha! It is in fact a stitch holder for holding a part of your knitting while you carry on knitting a separate part. I have one but it's ginormous, so this little lady is thoroughly welcome to my knitting accessories clan!

This is another one for those knitters out there...a tension checker. For those of you that aren't familiar, it's not to check how tense you are when knitting (though a device like that might be useful when a knitting pattern isn't going your way! Ha ha!), it's to gauge whether you're knitting to the right size i.e. so you don't end up with an over sized jumper. Mental image of a Christmas jumper two sizes too big coming right at you!

Have you picked up a bargain recently? I'd love to hear about it!

Ta ra for now,
Jo :-) x

*pssst! Coming VERY soon, my next Blog Gem interview, woop! I won't spoil the surprise just yet! ;-)

*pssst, pssst, would you like to win one of my hand embroidered notebooks and whole load of goodies? Well head over to lovely Kim's blog lovecloth to find out more! Oh and spread the word! Cheers! :-)

25 February 2013

Creatives Unite Project #2

 Thought I'd share one of my recent #Creatives Unite projects; a sparkly knitted jumper. It's the loveliest project, not only because the pattern is super easy but the yarn is deeeelicious! The yarn is by Rico Creative Reflection and the pattern I'm following is the Slash Neck Sweater, also by Rico. Having knitted a few jumpers, I can definitely say this is a great one for beginners, i.e. those who can comfortably knit and purl but would like to have a go at decreasing stitches. The yarn is super soft and very easy to knit with. After I've finished a few chores, I'm planning on making a brew, casting on some stitches for the front of the jumper and knitting away while catching up on last night's 'Call the midwife'.

Have you been working on any knitting projects recently? I'd love to hear about them!

Ta ra for now,
Jo :-) x

21 February 2013

What's on the juke box, Jo?

This is a great one to dust off those dance shoes and get shimmying too! Enjoy! :-)

20 February 2013

Creatives Unite project #1

Have you heard of Creatives Unite or are you already a signed up member? Well, if you haven't heard of it before, head over to lovely Anna's blog to find out more! She's the brainchild of it all and what an awesome idea it is! Uninterrupted creativity once a week.

One of the projects I've often taken with me to the living room for Creatives Unite, is this long term knitting project - a lace knitted dress. It's pretty epic, so I've been breaking it up with other projects. Hopefully I'll have it finished by the summer or maybe Christmas, ha!

Hopefully "see" you at Anna's Creatives Unite some time!

Ta ra for now,
Jo :-) x

19 February 2013

A little Robin for company

On Sunday, I could not wait to get out into the garden. After spending Saturday at the lovely vintage market, I didn't want to miss the opportunity to get my wellies on and go out and play! 

*The seed collection is from Sarah Raven. She's a wonderful gardener and cook. Here's a link to her website*

As soon as I headed out, a little Robin popped on to the fence to say hello. I like to think he was there to keep me company, while whistling a few tunes. In truth though, I think he was more interested in the number of insects my gardening was producing. At one point, after flinging out a few rotten cardboard boxes from one of the out houses (we've just moved into a rented house, seems a previous tenant liked to hoard boxes in the out house! Lucky me, huh!), he flew down and quickly gobbled up a spider. As I was admiring his culinary skills, a large spider started creeping towards him. It was a pretty big spider, stealthy too. Just as I was starting to imagine a stand off between the two, plucky Mr Robin darted his beak forward and before I knew it, the spider was firmly in Robin's mouth! What a lovely moment.

I think it's safe to say that I was doing more tidying than proper down on your knees sowing seeds gardening. Here's a before shot of the mess:

And here's the after shot. I love how the sun was beaming down at this moment!

I found lots of bulbs hidden away under ivy and leaves. These daffodils, however, weren't shy. I can't wait until they bloom!

I'm not sure what these are. Anyone know? Are they tulips or is that wishful thinking?

Not sure what these guys are either. Any ideas?

As the seasons change, I'm really looking forward to sitting out in the garden, with a cup of earl grey, my knitting and Mr Robin, hopefully whistling me a tune.

Jo :-) x

18 February 2013

Knitting adventures

I've quickly come to learn that not only is knitting addictive but it also never seems possible to have one project on the go at any one time. 

I've had this pair of socks on the go for a while now. Well, actually, I was focusing on them day and night until I realised I'd nearly run out of yarn, shock horror! Top photo shows where I'd got to...not far off right? Right! But instead of dashing straight down to John Lewis to purchase the yarn, I put them away in one of my knitting bags. I've actually forgotten how long they've been in there, *shameful*. 

After a mad dash to the post office last week, I just happened to be passing John Lewis and lo-and-behold, that very yarn was sitting all snug on the shelf. I couldn't believe it! I'll never forget the time I went to get more yarn for a project only to find the dye lot wasn't available any more, *sad face*.

To cut a long yarn short (ha!) and four episodes of the wire later, my socks are now complete! Here they are in action!

If you're interested in the pattern, it's from Jenny Lord's Purls of Wisdom. I absolutely love this book and turn to it every time I want to check something. The patterns are pretty awesome too.

Have you just completed a craft project recently? I'd love to hear about it!

Ta ra,
Jo :-) x

17 February 2013

Vintage market fun!


Oooh, doesn't it feel like spring is in the air?! Until I stepped out of the house yesterday, into the glorious sunshine with bright blue sky over head, I hadn't realised how much those grey days had been getting me down. I felt an overwhelming feeling of hopefulness and inspiration, so much so that I was almost inclined to throw a skip in my step! Maybe if the 'Sound of Music' was being pumped out of my ipod, I probably would have started skipping!

After a thorough spring clean (seriously, spring was the theme of the day!) of my studio desk, I headed to Leicester Cathedral with friends for the Vintage Market. With this being my first vintage market experience in Leicester since leaving London, I was stunned to see a queue to get in! In fact, there were two queues, one for vintage and one for Richard III! *Ahem*, as you'll see from my photos, I headed to the vintage queue.

On entering, I was really stunned by the cathedral, having never been before. Will be going back to explore more at some point. My eyes were then overawed by the amount of clothing, some vintage, some handmade and upcycled. Thrown into the mix were jewellery, handbags, suitcases and the odd bit of bric-a-brac. I was hoping to see more bric-a-brac but that's more a personal preference.

I'll definitely be going again but would possibly get there earlier...can you believe they'd sold out of cupcakes by the time we arrived at 2pm?! Our cups of tea in appropriate vintage china were looking rather forlorn without their sugary friends :-( But, we soon cheered them up with chatter and giggles.

Here are my purchases...

Madame Cherry

Madame Cherry

Madame Cherry

I didn't get the name of this stall holder. If you're reading this and it's your design, please let me know, so that I can credit you! Thanks!

Jeny & Amber

Jeny & Amber

Jeny & Amber

Jeny & Amber

I love all my purchases but I think my favourite has to be Jeny & Amber's Lobster skirt! As my friend said, it reminds him of lovely illustrations from a kid's story book. I can't wait to throw this on in the spring!

Talking of spring, I'm going to spend the rest of the morning out in the garden planting a few seeds.
I hope you're all having a lovely weekend! What's everyone up to?

Ta ra,
Jo :-) x

16 February 2013

Lunch breaks in the city - The Guildhall, part 2

Following on from yesterday's post, here are some more shots from the Guildhall and the buildings surrounding it, with a few crazy angles to boot too. One interesting fact about the Guildhall, it was built between 1411 and 1440, which in my mind is awe inspiring.

15 February 2013

Lunch breaks in the city - The Guildhall, part 1

This is my last London lunch break in the city post, sob sob :-( As you may or may not know, I moved up to Leicester in December; so while my London adventures will now be less frequent, my lunch breaks won't stop...just a change of location...from one historical city to another. 

Anyhoooo, I have one more London lunch break adventure to share with you, The Guildhall. I went on a particularly bright, cool day and it's fair to say Mrs Camera and I went berserk (don't you just love that word!). In fact, having only just looked at all the snaps from that day, I hadn't quite realised how many there were, soooo, this post will be split into 3 parts!!! 

These shots are taken on the way to the Guildhall. Let's just say Mrs Camera and I were inspired by our surroundings that day.

Part 2 of my Guildhall adventure will be up tomorrow, so stay tuned if it floats your boat.


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