Wednesday, 22 June 2011


There’s no time to do crafty stuff. And show it off.

Actually, that’s a lie.

There’s plenty of time to show things off, just no time to actually make them, like I said. Little time at the house, lots of time at work. Time that I’d love to be spending at home, sorting through stuff, putting things in boxes, labelling said boxes.

Unfortunately, the very reason why I’m in a position to buy a house (working and therefore getting a salary) is most definitely getting in the way at the moment. I want to be at home, getting things done, crossing things off my list.  Which means that I’m neither here nor there.

I’m struggling to find words to put down on this little blog, so I’m sorry for the silence around here these days. I just don’t know what to write about. Possibly because I’m already in a mental packing state. When I start unpacking, I may have more to write about, but who knows.

So there, I’m still alive. But I just wanted to let you know that I’m not sure when I’ll be blogging regularly again. It could be tomorrow, it could be next week. We’ll just have to wait and see won’t we? Until then, I’ll resume my list making and blog lurking (yeah sorry about that, been keeping up to date with all of you and have had a distinct lack of energy when it’s come to comment writing).

So there you go. Don’t be angry, don’t be sad, just wish me luck and I’ll see you on the other side!

Friday, 17 June 2011

Last bit of Normandie

Totally totally late. I know. But I still wanted to post about this. Because amidst the chaos that is work/ packing the flat away/ my mum being over for a few days, I had to cheer myself up and think of holidays again. Oh how nice it was back then! It seems like ages ago now, which is quite worrying. This year has just flown by and even though I know where it went (Cambodia, looking for a house, Normandy), it seems a little scary that we’re pretty much half way through 2011 already.

Anyway, today’s post wasn’t meant to get everyone down, to worry about how time is going by so quickly and we’re all getting old and it’s bloody scary. No, I wanted to remind myself of lovely days gone by, wonderful days enjoyed by the seaside in France. Everyone loves pretty photos right? Follow me then. We started in Honfleur, not far from where we were dropped off by the ferry…

Walked along the lovely beaches of Deauville which looked like they should be somewhere in the Caribbean…

Enjoyed some beautifully sunny days along the coast of the Presqu’ile du Cotentin…

And some not so sunny days at the Mont St Michel where the views where simply magnificent…

And the abbey was equally charming…

The trip was rather educational too and we visited several World War II memorials, cemeteries and museums, some new, some we’d been to before…

It was very emotional at times, as you can imagine, but I do think that visiting these places on a regular basis, reminding ourselves about what has happened in our countries, does a lot of good to our way of thinking and view of the world. There’s nothing quite like it to make you feel terribly grateful for what you have. And work to ensure that atrocities like that never happen again.

Here's to holidays that make you think, relax, and be happy.

Thursday, 16 June 2011

The war is on

The air con war. Anyone working in an office will know what I’m talking about? It’s getting slightly warmer out there, and some people’s first reaction is to turn on the air con rather than open windows.

Wrong. Move.

It’s 8am and I get to the office. A couple of guys who come in before me are always really hot (hot flushes?) and turn it on straight away. Lazy bastards, can’t be bothered to open the windows. Instead of sitting down and giving themselves a bit of time to cool down, they just reach for the easy (and most definitely not environmentally friendly) option.

So this morning, I got in, turned off all the air con units and opened practically every single window in the office. Not being funny, but I won’t have the air con on when it’s actually cooler outside. What’s wrong with some people?

Not only does it use up a lot of energy, it dries the air out (and my contact lenses), and spreads germs around. The air con units we have are also about a million years old and positioned in such a way that they blow on certain people’s desks and not others. Alright when you’re getting fresh air, not so good when your paperwork and hair is being blown around.

So there. The fight’s on. Emails have been sent around to encourage people to open windows first, and turn on the air con if it really gets too hot, to no avail. Some people still can’t help themselves and turn it on without asking other people if they’re happy with it, and without getting people to close windows, which is down right stupid and selfish. So I’m taking the matters in my own hands and opening windows left right and centre. Bring it on.

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Planning and packing

Planning has well and truly started. Packing? In full swing my dears

We are indeed planning on moving in our new home in about 3 weeks' time!! The Petit Filoux household is unbelievably excited at the prospect, but there are a million and one things to do before the move. Oh and the move itself also needs to be planned.

Wish us luck, there are cardboard boxes to be found, a van to be rented, utility companies to sort out, a ton of people to be informed of the change of address... I keep making lists about everything that needs to be done. Won't be long until I start making lists of lists. Not even joking.

Waitrose is our top friend at the moment. No health and safety nonsense there, they can give us enough boxes to pack away our whole life. So helpful, it's bordering on ridiculous.

I am feeling my age though. I handled a few heavy boxes on Sunday night and managed to hurt my back somehow. Anyway, it still hurts. I can feel my youth slipping away.

Right, best get back to work, aka this annoying thing that gets in the way from crafting and packing. Honestly, what a cheek.

Monday, 13 June 2011

New old project

You know when something doesn't quite work out? You plan for it, look forward to it, get everything sorted out and prepared, but somehow, life gets in the way and it just doesn't happen. No movement, no progress. About 10 months ago, I posted about this project I had in mind. I'd bought the yarn in a hurry so that I could take it on holiday. Hours were to be spent on trains, I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to get some crochet done.

But life had other plans for me. Hot weather and busy holiday-ness meant crochet was at the back of my mind, or more specifically, at the bottom of my suitcase for the following weeks. Then came autumn and winter, and it just seemed daft to work on a summer project. So I put it away and that was that.

More recently, I made a list of various projects I wanted to complete in the near future, and that project crept up again. I'd bought the yarn after all, I couldn't and wouldn't let it go to waste. I finished my tapestry project, the round cushion, even made a cushion insert using the sewing machine, did some birdie cards. I had to face up to it, it was time to start on the project. Nowhere to turn. I couldn't avoid it any longer.

So what did I do? Totally embraced it. I'm showing it to you now, and the back is actually already finished! It's grown quite quickly really, this has taken me just 10 days to do. Now, before I loose my crochet mojo, I plan on finishing this presto. Wish me luck, it's my first garment after all.

My two worries? That it'll look rubbish on me and that I might be running a little low on yarn... Fingers crossed hey?

Friday, 10 June 2011

On my doorstep

I'm slightly ashamed. And equally joyous. Last weekend, we visited a historic home (English Heritage type of property) literally on our doorstep. It couldn't have taken more than 10min to drive there. We knew it was there, but had never made the effort to pay it a visit. The glorious sunshine was had last Saturday (and an event which meant we got 10% off tickets) were a perfect opportunity for a visit, which we embraced in the greatest way possible.

An elaborate picnic was prepared by yours truly (preparation actually started on Friday night - quiche always tastes better a day old), and enjoyed in the sun on our Betwys-y-Coed blanket - oh holiday souvenirs!

Nibbles of filo pastry filled with either blue cheese and pickle or sweet red onion and feta, tomato and red pepper quiche, mixed summer salad...

After this filling lunch, we ambled our way through the gardens, the maze, the rose patch, the vegetable patch...

Before heading towards the house. Unfortunately cameras aren't allowed inside, but to be honest, the best of it was outdoors. I feel so privileged to live near such a great beauty. And even though the entry price is such that you wouldn't go every weekend, I'll definitely try and take my mum there if we have time when she's around and the sun is out. If you're ever down this part of the country, I wholeheartedly recommend it.

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Summer in a glass

It's that time of year again. Not many browning flowers down our end, actually a lot more buds in the waiting.

Last saturday afternoon was a perfect time to collect flower heads, going from one bush to the next. The weather was amazing and the elderflower trees heavy with fragrant bounty.

30 flower heads later and 2 1/2 litres of golden liquid ready to be consumed. Now I just need to make sure it doesn't get demolished in the next few days, it really is very good!

Monday, 6 June 2011

Alfa and cushion love

The Beast has been renamed.

She is no longer a beast but rather a dear dear friend. She was made in Spain, so I reckon her brand name Alfa suits her well enough.

She is no longer a beast because I was shown how to use her, and I’m no longer intimidated by her rustic look and old-fashioned eccentricities. She is beautiful and has already been very good to me.

She’s made me feel comfortable, comfortable enough to make my first project. I started with the most simple thing and made a round cushion insert. All I needed to do was to cut two pieces of fabric and sew along the edges using the running stitch, stuff it and sew it shut. It didn’t matter that it didn’t look perfect because it would be hidden inside the cushion. I know, rather elemental, but so pleasing to start with something so very satisfying and stress-free.

So here is the front side of the crochet cushion (started way back here)…

And the back…

And now all plumped up on the matching Arc-en-ciel blanket!!

So so lovely, so colourful! It makes me terribly happy thinking that this is all so pretty and happy and I made it all and it’s just frigging brilliant!!! I stuffed the cushion with some leftover washable toy stuffing I had lying around, but also with some yarn cut offs that I’d kept in a little bag… I knew they’d come in handy one day!

Knowing that there’s a little bit of each and every single knitted and crochet project that I’ve ever worked on in this little cushion of mine, well it just makes me squeal with delight.

I only have one uncertainty. See the back there with the wooden button opening/ closing? I was wondering whether I should leave it as it is, as a cute detail kind of thing, or whether I should make more of a feature of it... what's the opinion out there?

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Hello birdies

Mooncalf recently posted about a new magazine, Handmade Living, in which an article was written about her. Last month was pretty tight, so I couldn't justify buying anything like that, so I went out and found a free copy on the internet. A little naughty I guess, but what can you do! Anyway, I 'flicked' through it and something caught my eye: a card with little button birds. Sounds weird like that but I loved it and knew I'd have to make it straight away. So as soon as I got home I got these wooden buttons out (bought ages ago and never used...), some felt and a black pen.

How sweet is that? That wasn't enough for me though, I had to get those little cute birds out of my system. Cue the love bird card.

How amazingly cute is that?! I made it for Boyfriend's sister's wedding anniversary, and now I'm just wondering who else I can make this for... I'll definitely be making some more before I send it off so I don't forget how I did it! So easy, so different, I just love it!