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There are no album fillers here

I havent blogged in apparently ages, the X factor was the last subject, which goes to show. This is mainly due to the fact that I’ve either been busy, ill, moving house and well, just didn’t want to. That’s not to say that I haven’t had plenty of things to say, it’s just I didn’t know I needed to say them, if that makes any sense. in saying that, in the last two years and the circumstances which have kept me from blogging, I have since come to realise that no matter who or where you are from and no matter how large or small a situation is, there is always a reason for documenting it.

Grandad and Aunty Gail

A rare picture of my Grandad and Aunty Gail, the first i've seen of them both in over 20 yrs

A picture is just as good as a blog, even taken with your phone if you don’t have time to equip your shiny-do-everything-camera. A snapshot will do, it doesn’t have to be Lichfield, just something to remind you that it happened, perhaps the beauty of why it happened or maybe a reminder of why it should or shouldn’t happen again.

The human memory, and particularly mine, isn’t the best way to record events, if you want to remember things the way they happened. Facts often get clouded by physical or emotional changes. For example, there is a beautiful sunset, probably the last one of the summer, and you’re completely stoned out of your mind with hay fever tablets, which means that your eyes might not see the landscape for the beauty that it truly is and you just don’t feel up to sitting watching it for an hour. If you have the time to simply take that snapshot, you’ll be so glad you did.

The picture on the right wasn’t taken by me, possibly my cousins but probably my nana who isn’t with us anymore. It just goes to illustrate how important some moments are and how they can stop you in your stride when you revisit them again. It sometimes takes courage to go back in time and look at what has already been, but thats what life is about, learning to handle it. Not by staying in the past or being frightened by the future, but by learning from one so you can enjoy the other. I regret not being able to have seen my folks more and feel particularly guilty for not being able to get my bum over to Australia in time, as I’d promised I would always come back for them.

Moments

Just walking past something and seeing it for the first time, makes it new and interesting. However long it has been there.

What I have learned, is that you must make the best of each moment even if you think that it doesn’t matter. Every single one does, there are no album fillers here.

I dont know about you but I can be lazy when it comes to keeping up to date with myself so to speak, so anything that makes my life a little easier – works for me.

I recently downloaded a free app for my android phoneCamera360′ which for me is one of the best camera apps I’ve seen available to date. It makes me want to take pictures more. I’ve recorded more, shared more and I can now keep more. Just being able to make the best of any picture and bring that moment to life, is a keeper.

If I’m honest, photographs probably mean more to me than any of my furniture or appliances, they are stolen fragments of time. A piece of you stays in that moment, not the one moving forward in time who is eating, breathing and walking, but the one who remembers better than you, and whose job it is to remember those moments you can’t.

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The X Factor…what the heck is going on?

x-factor I’ve watched the X Factor almost every year now and have enjoyed every one of those I have watched. This year however, I am wondering what the judges are playing at. From terrible song choices to even worse judgements and critiques of the acts, I have been wondering if they are indeed orbiting planet earth and completely out of touch with their marbles.

Each year I usually agree with Simon Cowell, and although he comes under fire for his cutting remarks, he comes close to what I would have said in his position many times. I’m not a musician, nor am I in the ‘business’ so yes, Its easy for me to sit here and give my opinions, BUT I really am lost for words when it comes to some of the acts this year.

Danyl Johnson for instance, what is it that they’re hearing, because I swear the guy cant hold a note, he wails and contorts his face but nothing of any substance seems to come out. I know that he’s Simons act so he more or less has to be complimentary on his performances, but come on… he cant sing a melody straight without that Trans Atlantic drawl over it and much face pulling.

I don’t know what to say about John and Edward, its quite obvious to most people that they shouldn’t really still  be in the competition, but as they say the public have voted…hmmmm.

For me, the three top acts have to be Lucie Jones, Jamie Archer and Joe McElderry. Three fantastic voices and much deserving of their places in the final. Lets hope (and vote) that they stay in the competition for as long as possible!!! 🙂

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Helping kittys

While i always appreciate a helping hand around the house, knitting projects – not including KAL’s and groups – is a lone task. I cant imagine someone holding one of my needles, that would probably be quite weird, although there’s likely to be someone who has tried something similar and succeeded.
My knitting companion comes in the furry variety, and while he doesnt help as such, he is more than often by my side. Whether its concentrating on the yarns movements or just sitting snoozing while i knit away, he’s the best knittin pal i could have.

Here he is guarding a couple of my projects.

Who’s a good kitty! =)

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Loving True Blood

Im halfway through the second season of True Blood and have really been enjoying it. Apart from the beautiful back drop of the deep south and the non stop (and seemingly limited to Bon Temps) action there is some sweet eye candy too!
Alexander Skarsgard aka Eric Northman is drop dead …excuse the pun.. gorgeous and dare i say he may have been stealing the limelight from Sooki’s vampire boyfriend Bill Compton? He just looks like the part.
Come on Bill, grab the Olay, youve got competition!

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Nalu Mitts

I haven’t blogged in a while as I’d been moving. That alone takes up a lot of time with sorting out what goes where and just cleaning the place and making it my own.Nalu Mitts

I’ve also been knitting and just finished a pair of Nalu Mitts by Leila Raabe.  What a quick and satisfying project! I’m so chuffed with them I’m typing this with them on. Sad but true!

Anyway, I’ve indulged myself way too much with knitting all morning so its back to all the other things I need to catch up on.

 

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House Hunting

kitchenI haven’t blogged in a couple of days as I’ve been a bit busy.

Among those things which have kept me from the computer, is the hunt for a new house. I rent at present and do actually quite like the property we’re in, but its great for keeping the cold out or heat in!

We live in the East of England and are accustomed to good weather most of the year, but when it gets chilly here the house is just…well, unbelievably cold.

kitchen2So, rather than fork out cash trying to make a 3 bed house with no double glazing a little warmer for Winter, I’ve decided its time to get moving.

I was out looking at a beautiful property this morning located in the same sort of area but closer to the town and college etc and absolutely loved it!  Everything had been refurbished, new built in kitchen, wooden floors throughout, new double glazing, DECKING and lower garden and also a CELLAR. The Cellar

Its not often you come across many properties these days with cellars still open. And although this was was a little, well actually it was totally full of rubbish and what looked like relics from before WWII, it was sparking off lots of little plans in my imagination.

I’d made it out there for 10am this morning just in time to see a couple leaving and after seeing another property (which was awful) I decided to go ahead with paying admin fees on the one pictured above.

No luck for me it seems, as someone else had apparently fallen in love with the place as well.

I was pipped at the post by the couple before me, they’d gone straight down to the office and paid admin fees there and then.Cellar

However, I am still looking and have several appointments for next week so I’m keeping hopeful that something equally as lovely will come along.

Is it me, or is there just so much you could do with that workshop? =)

 

 

 

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Two at a time, First time

 

Two socks knitted at the same time

Here is the beginnings of my first attempt of knitting two socks at once on two circular needles, toe-up. I’m slightly nervous but have been reading up on how to do it and although its proving quite fiddly, I’m really enjoying knowing that I wont still have the second one to do once I finally finish them.

As it is the first time and I am prepared for some repetitive frogging, I’ve opted for a budget yarn from Bonus, black DK.

You can buy this for around £1.50 or sometimes at the pound shops. It just depends where you shop. What I did realise was that I’ll probably only be doing this during the well lit times of day as even well lit rooms don’t seem to help with knitting dark colours, for me anyway.

Saartjes Booties

Last night I finished one bootie from Saartjes Booties and they seem really easy to make, apart from the strap! I read the lines over again to make sure I knew what I was supposed to do, then read them again…but still didn’t feel quite sure.

A cup of tea later I went back and read them again and gave it a bash. It is very fiddly but I got there in the end and might actually keep that one as a practise run and start another pair. I’ll  need two as my friend is expecting twins in August! 🙂

Here comes the Rain

Its raining here at the moment which means no gardening for me but there is more chance of the plants not dying of thirst. Unfortunately we haven’t had a great deal of rain the last few weeks so I’ve been on the verge of skipping about the lawn with a drum and a head-dress. I’m sure the neighbours would find that highly amusing 🙂

So its indoors for me, which means knitting, studying and reading and the odd bit of DIY.

Talking of reading, I picked up couple of books at the pound shop yesterday and was really chuffed at my findsClive Barker 'Cabal', especially as I’m a Clive Barker fan. This is my new ‘cant put it down’ book and although its slightly gory, will no doubt we falling asleep with this on my face for a few nights to come.

I also grabbed a copy of ‘Heirloom Knits’ which has some beautiful illustrations of lace, edgings and embellishments. I did find the instructions to be a bit vague in some parts though, often thinking it was a bit of a puzzle as to how everything was finally constructed. However, its great for finding out a bit of knitting history.

Right, I’m off to continue my next pair of socks at the one time! I’ll post back here once they’re done, if I manage to finish them 🙂

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Socks, Free and Easy ribbing

 

Ribbed Socks

I’m just loving knitting socks at the moment and almost felt I was a little left out, so decided to knit myself some. This time something really plain just so I can say I have a pair!

These are ribbed starting from just where the toe increases end and then right up to the leg. I finished it just before my calf starts for a little more draft protection during winter. Lets face it, no one likes a draft up the old trouser leg!

At the moment I am totally knitting on a budget so many or most of my yarns will be acrylic based. This is a bonus DK which I picked up at my LYS, and for acrylic its pretty soft on the tootsies. I love the little tufts of navy and gold!

OK, so the socks are toe up and this time I cast on 20 stitches (10 each needle) onto 3.25 circs. increasing to 40 (20 each needle) for a nice round toe. I’m beginning to dislike the rather pointed ballet point shape so I thought I try a different number.

After the toe increases, straight onto p2, k2 ribbing for the instep and knit the sole. A short row heel decreasing to 8 working stitches then back up to the original 20.

As soon as all the stitches have been put back into play, I started ribbing all the way round p2, k2 and just carried on right up the leg.

Finished with a sewn bind off, (which actually was a little tight this time but everything was ok, thankfully!) and you’re good to go!

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Recycling is easy with Freecycle

Click to go to FreecycleI don’t know about you, but I like things which are fairly priced, and even better when they’re free! I also like to give things away which I might not be using anymore rather than take them to the dump or chuck in the bin. We are already creating way too much waste globally than we should.

 

So, when I heard about Freecycle, I thought my prayers had been answered. I had been hoarding all manner of things for years in the hope that either I or someone I know would be able to repair, up-cycle or need them at some point. That day never came for most of the old and dusty items unfortunately, but I could now post the items on Freecycle and pass them onto someone who might! Yes, and people really do want your empty boxes and bubble wrap!

All I needed was a yahoo email address and things to offer and I was off. That was over a year ago and  I’ve went from boxes to move house with to tables and chairs, computers, a cappuccino machine, plants and pots, a sewing machine and those are just a few of the things I’ve collected. We’ve managed to get rid of lots of bits and pieces and most of the time it doesn’t matter how small or unlikely your item might be, there is usually someone who will need or have a use for it.

Freecycle is an international group but you can search for one in your area. No one ever buys or sells anything or asks to swap items, you either post an offer or wanted ad and wait for replies to your inbox, simple!

I really do recommend it if you work for a charity who hosts car boot, yard or garage sales and even better if you’re just starting out and need some odds and ends. Just sign up with your yahoo email account and Bobs your Aunty! 🙂

Happy recycling FREEcycling!!!

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