Thursday, 27 August 2009

Knitting pattern for a cute tea cosy!!

Yarn 1 ball of double knit
size 6.5 needles (no. 3)
Teapot size approx 33 (40-49)cm excluding spout.

with 6.5mm (no.3) needles cast on 21 (25,31) sts.
1ST ROW : (RS) K1,*P1, K1, rep from* to end
2ND ROW : P1, *K1,P1, rep from * to end.
Beg with a K row, work 13 (14, 16) cm in st st, ending with a P row. ( measure work against your tea pot - cosy should be approx 4cm below the top of the teapot lid. Add or take back rows to fit)

NEXT ROW: (K3, K2 tog) 6 times,K1, 25 sts. P1 row
NEXT ROW: (K2, K2tog) 5(6:6) times,K1. 16 (19.19) sts. P 1 row.
NEXT ROW: (K1, K2tog) 5(6:6) times, K1. 11 (13:13) sts.. P1 row.
NEXT ROW: (K2tog) 5(6:6) times, K1. 6(7:7) sts. P 1 row.
NEXT ROW: (K2tog) 3 times, K0 (1:1). 3(4:4) sts.
Cut off yarn and thread through rem sts. Pull up tightly and fasten up.

FRONT: Work as back.

Press according to band on wool. Sew buttons on as desired. Join side seamsfor 5cm from cast on edge. Join side seams from top to start of shaping, leaving two gaps for the handle and the spout. Try cosy on the teapot, making sure gaps are big enough, and adjust if necessary. Thread looped ribbon into large -eyed needle and push through tea cosy top from the inside. Adjust loop on the outside, then secure ribbon ends inside the cosy.

I haven't done yet, but I am going to add some wool pom poms to the top too! 

Hope I haven't made any mistakes, and enjoy your knitting and high tea!

Suzie. xxx

Wednesday, 26 August 2009

Back to school with Autumn lurking in the wings

Hello and welcome!

Another week has flown by and the summer is quickly drawing to a close. Some people are enjoying the last remnants of this sunny ( ha, ha!) season, taking their annual hols, visiting the beach and cramming in a well deserved holiday.

Although it is still August and children still have sand in their shoes and ice cream on their chins, I have noticed a distinct 'feel' of Autumn. You know that feeling, although I personally find it hard to put into words, perhaps you all can come up with some words to describe it? To me, it is almost a primeval sense, a deep connection with nature, a feeling which is unique to this special time of the year. Something in the air, a change.... I love it! It brings with it a promise of the beautiful colours of falling leaves, bonfires, dark cosy nights by the fire all cuddled up and cosy indoors. Yes, there is something magical about this time of the year when you start to notice tiny signs that the lovely earthy season is on it's way.

Berries on the hedgerows.

Some children may have already gone back to school, but where I live they are all getting ready to go back. New uniforms are being tryed on, lunch boxes being chosen, pencils, pens and sharpeners being placed into their new cases. A new start!

Two views of a painting I did.

I always had mixed feelings when my children went back to school. On the one hand I missed them, but on the other it was always nice to have some time to myself again and get back to being able to sew, draw and create!
This time of the year, once they are back at school, there always seems to be a flurry of activities, with Harvest Festival, Bonfire night and Halloween too, so much so that before you can blink, Christmas swoops in!

And speaking of Halloween! Here, plonked right in the middle of my post, is a quick update of Pumpkin. As you can see He/she is turning orange in my veggie patch, but not very big yet though! :(

Strange, as Autumn comes tip-toeing up behind Summer, you wouldn't be blamed for thinking that it heralds the aging of the year. Yet, the feeling that I sense as I go out into my garden, is not one of aging or withering, but one of new beginnings!
At this time of year, if we look about us, we can see miracle upon miracle unfurling before our eyes ...... changes happening all around us.

My apple trees have plump fruits, and the birds have left me with some blackberries ready for the kitchen and everyday I find new reasons to be grateful for nature and her generous gifts.

Nature's generous gifts!

Now, I thought to my self, what shall I do with these lovely beauties? Hmmmm.......................

A yummy scrumptious (hopefully! she added modestly) apple, pear and blackberry pie with a swirl of honey and oodles of cinnamin! The strange bits on the pastry were supposed to be an apple shape with leaves! Hmmm, oh well, as long as it tastes ok hey?!

Yes, I think Autumn has nearly caught up with Summer now, and once again Summer will have to surrender to the ever changing circle of life, just as we do! Oh, but what a wonderful time - to experience the last drops of Summer dotted with the first speckles of earthy Autumn. I always feel that our lives are just like the seasons, lively and youthful spring, young but maturing Summer, Mellowing Autumn (we even refer to the Autumn of our years) and then Old age - Old Man winter.

As do the seasons change, so does life. Nothing remains the same. You could sit in a room and not take part in anything, and everything would change just the same! Change can not be stopped, so I for one, am just going to enjoy every bit of it! I might not have been here today, due to illness, and so everyday and every change is a bonus to me. I breathe life in with a gusto and a gratitude!

This sunflower is starting to fade, a bit like me!

Each day when I go to my mirror to brush my hair, I can not help but laugh at the changes which age and life have very kindly left on my face. It is very funny really! My face, that is!
I think I am Autumn! But I really don't mind, as I am just so happy to be here on earth, waiting to tuck into that pie! Yum!

So until I post again next Friday, I wish you all a very yummy weekend and week to come! Oh and yes, I will think about you all while I eat it!

Suzie. XXX :)

Passing on the blog award!

Hello friends!
I am writing an extra post this week, as I have very happily and humbly received an award from Sarah at 'Red Gingham'. I am overwhelmed that she has thought so kindly of my ramblings! Now It is my job to pass it on to five blogs which I enjoy visiting! Firstly though I think I am supposed to share five obsessions of mine! I thought I would tie mine in with the five senses. So here goes...

1). Sight - Rainbows and that beautiful light after it rains, the sparkle on the water when the sun shines, trees! and a mix of fabrics with stripes, checks, flowers and polka dots with lots of colour! Yes colour, colour and more colour! People's smiles!

2). Sound - Music, I love so many different types of music, heavy, soft, folk, rock and I really love loud music! I think I would shrivel up and wither if I didn't have some kind of music on at some point in the day! It lifts my spirits when I'm low and makes my soul soar. Also I love the universes gift of thunder! The crunch crunch of autumn leaves under foot. Jumping in puddles, splish splash (how old am I?) The sound of laughter!

3). Smell - The fragrance of flowers, the smell of grass freshly mown. The breezy summery scent of fresh sheets from the washing line and that certain smell when Autumn arrives!

4). Touch - I love anything creative which I can get my hands to work on, sewing, knitting, drawing. I adore the feel of soft felt or the grain of fabric. Stroking my dogs! running my fingers over french knots!

5). Taste - Licorice sticks! Marmite ( you either love it or hate it!), honey, red wine and real ale!
The cold fresh taste of snow flakes on your tongue! Ooooh, and a nice cup of tea , egg and toast soldiers!

Everything stops for tea!

The feel of french Knots!

Now I am cheating! I have to add..... angels, fairies and all otherworldlyness too, can't leave those out!!!

There are so many, but I have to stop somewhere!

Now onto the blog award! This has been so difficult, because there are so many wonderful ones out there! I have spent nearly all afternoon trying to decide and I don't like leaving people out at all. In the end I decided to keep it to only blogs which touched on sewing and cottagey type of homes, that way I don't feel bad about other ones I like to visit.

Troc Broc and Recup
Lucy's Loves In Life
Mary Poppins
A Fine Feathered Nest

So just pick up your 'A Fabulous Blog' award from my sidebar when you leave here!

Until my next post on Friday, blessings to you all!

Suzie xxx :)

Friday, 21 August 2009

Make a little birdhouse in your soul!

Happy Friday!

Well it's been a busy week since I last posted, and I really don't know where the time has gone. You know what people say... "My how time flies when your'e having fun", and I reply, "It's a good job I'm not having any then isn't it!" Only joking, I have plenty!
This video is only short, about 30 seconds or so, so have a little look, it rather sets the mood for the rest of my post, have to listen to the words though!

I love bird houses, any shape, size or colour, they look so cute out in the garden.. or in the house!

Well yes birdhouses are easy to see and understand, but what about souls? The other day I was listening to a program on the radio in which the existence or non-existence of soul was being discussed. In one camp it was being argued that we humans are just a bundle of matter, chemicals and electrical impulses and that all our emotions and experiences (including spiritual and intuitive) were just a series of reactions from our brains circuitry. The other camp insisted that no, it can't just be explained away with science, and that we do all have a soul, and there are many stories and experiences which can't be explained through reason or logic. You can probably guess what my opinion is already!

I could feel a little bee in my bonnet starting to buzz about !

This is a little stitchery I sewed up this week using simple stitches. Click on it for larger view.

I believe with all my heart that we all have a soul, and if we haven't, then surely we are no more than animated robots. How do we explain the inner strength that people find when faced with illness or some other hardship or trauma in life, where does the spirit come from?
Where does creativity arise from if not from the soul?

"Every artist dips his brush in his soul, and paints his own nature into his pictures."
Henry Ward Beecher, 1813-1887

I believe that creativity, emotions and human spirit are reflections of our souls shining through into our physical world, and the more everone remembers to acknowledge their souls, the better. The mind I feel is very apart from our soul, in the sense that our minds (conscious) are more rooted to material interests and needs. Our souls are not interested in the material world.

"The human soul needs actual beauty more than bread"

Yes, I think our world has become too materialistic on the whole and it needs to start nurturing it's souls!

A pencil drawing I did yesterday. A little pixie is waiting for Mrs. Bird to fly back to take him down from the birdhouse, in the meantime a tiny spider weaves it's web. Click on it for more detail.

So to sum up, what a miserable world it would be, with no real meaning at all, if there was no such thing as a soul. Furthermore, since I am a person who still hopes for fairies in the garden, and wishes for more magic in life, then of course I believe in souls. Just because you can't see something, doesn't mean it does not exist. After all, You can't see me, and I really do exist, sadly for George, my poor husband (pronounced Geeoawrge)!

Finally for this week, Pumpkin is definitely turning orange! Pics next week, maybe. Until next week, get your souls out and give them a good polish!

Ta ta old beans! Suzie X

Friday, 14 August 2009

Mad dogs and Englishmen!

Hello Peeps,

First of all before I get to my post, I would like to thank all of you who have supported me and followed my blog so far, I really do appreciate it, so lots of hugs to you all!

Last week I told you that I was going to spend my weekend smiling at everybody. Well I certainly did, and got very mixed reactions! Some people blanked me out, some looked at the floor, some looked at me like I had lost my mind! Thankfully though, the majority of them smiled warmly back at me. So there really are lots of smiley people out there!

Which leads me very nicely to my Friday blog.

A mad dog!!! My Old English sheepdog, Ralph!

Being a Brit myself and being English I got to thinking about our reputation for being a bit eccentric! One of my childhood dreams, besides becoming an artist and a Beatnik, was to become completely eccentric as I got into my dotage. Not got completely there yet, but there's still plenty of time, I hope.

I love individualism, and I suppose eccentricity is an off shoot, after all, it is a self expression. In some cases you could even call it creativity, art. It is a beautiful part of the human experience, being able to express through colour, art, clothes. Art appears in many forms after all.

This is one of a few of my stitcheries of eccentric ladies!

I love this book! It is a poem, and the title says it all really, but why do we have to wait until we are old? My husband, George, bought this for me, which speaks volumes! He is obviously sat watching me, looking out for signs!!

An example of an eccentric English person! I particularily Love Quentin Crisp, who has sadly now left the planet, His observations on life were so colourful, warm and funny. when asked about housework and dusting his reply (not sure of the exact words!) was that after
2 years (I think 2!) the dust doesn't get any worse!

Eccentricity is not just for famous people though!

So, all in all I would love to see more eccentrics (especially smiling ones!!!!) But I wonder what Queen Victoria would have thought, would she be amooosed?

One of my amoosing stitcheries!

You will be please to hear that Pumpkin is still happy in the veggie patch, and I think I detect a slight change in colour. either that or he/she is blushing! Maybe there will be enough change next week to warrent a photo. Carolyn, A Jersey Girl, wild gypsy art ( click on this! ) has made a suggestion for a name for Pumpkin, it is Soul Man, which is a wonderful one! Carolyn has become a friend, and we have had some wonderful chats on facebook! I have made some wonderful friends on the web, including Christine, Colette and many more, you know who you are!!!

So until next week, get on those polka dot wellies, Easter bonnets and stripey stockings and be happy! And in good old fashioned Englishness I will say Ta Ta Old Beans! Suzie X.

Friday, 7 August 2009

Free grins here for smiling souls!


They say what the world needs more of, is love. So true, but I think it also needs more smiles! Yes, lots and lots of smiles. In my humble opinion I think there should be a National Smile Day. On that day everyone who wishes to could smile as much as they like without the fear of looking silly. I personally like to smile as much as possible, even perhaps sometimes running the risk of looking like a simpleton!

A day when even those oh so miserable shop assistants, you know the ones I mean (!), have to smile at you, even dare I say it, acknowledge your presence when they are serving you! Don't you just ever want to tell them to try to be a bit friendlier and treat you with some care, sometimes it is as if you are completely invisible to them. Yes, well, on national smile day they would have to come to work with a smile. After all they are free.

A smile is a little parcel of kindness and joy, a beautiful gift to the world, that can cheer up a lonely person, make a sad person feel a little bit happier, make a grumps mouth twitch at the edges, a child giggle, or just warm up a strangers day. A smile is a bridge from one human heart to another. I know I always feel lighter, brighter and warmer inside when someone smiles at me, so I like to try to give some back, often!

Children give smiles out without judgement or conditions, they just give. Wouldn't it be wonderful if as adults we could keep some of that open heartedness. Have we forgotten to trust, become a little too suspicious, or maybe we just worry we will be rejected or made to feel silly. I try to see the world through the eyes of a child more often, or as often as I can do.

A smiling drawing of mine!

So this weekend I am going to smile at as many people as I can, and if i get funny looks, well so be it. In my life when things have been really hard and traumatic, and there have been a few (!), I have a method of trying to make myself feel better. I either do somthing really silly, if I'm not too down, or I smile! I do a great big cheesey grin, preferably in front of a mirror. Try it! I bet if you keep trying it, you will see how daft you look and laugh out loud! Believe it or not, I have read that the very act of smiling or false laughing releases endorphins (I think!) and actually really do make you feel a bit happier!

What would happen if everybody smiled at everyone else? Well for one thing the world would become a much happier place. So get out there and spread some joy people!

One of my stitchery hearts


I am pleased to tell you that my pumpkin is still growing happily in the vegetable patch, but there was no point taking another photo due to lack of any real change or growth.

There has been a suggestion for a name for pumpkin from my good friend Ro Jordan, who emailed me as she hasn't worked out how to comment on here yet. I think you need to open a google account Ro, I think you just have to type in your email and a password, I think!
I would love more comments, and thank you so much all of you who have commented so far, I LOVE reading them all!

Anyhow I digress! Ro's suggestion is Prosperity, which is a good name I think, better than Fred! In Feng shui a pumpkin symbolises prosperity. Thank you Ro!

So remember until next time, no sour grapes just big grins!!! You can bet I'm smiling right now as I write this! Yup, looking like a simpleton!!!

Mentioning my friend Ro again, recently she sent me a message that was so lovely it made my soul smile! I wish you all smiling souls!!! Suzie. X

Some sour grapes growing in my garden!!!
But never in my heart.