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out and about, photos

Blackpool (part 1)

My boyfriend is a dyed-in-the-wool member of the Roller Coaster Club of Great Britain, and every year, they have a ‘Blackpool Bash’. I, not being a great one of roller coasters, wasn’t reeeeeeeally looking forward to it, truth be told, but it had been booked and I was on it. Being one to resign myself to my fate, I decided just to go along with it.

We drove up on Friday, which only took 4 hours. First impressions of Blackpool were very good. I love myself a good seaside town, and Blackpool is a good seaside town. We checked into our hotel, then headed for the South Pier. Sadly, the log flume (a ride I always love) was closed, owing to the weather, but the pub was open and we had a few drinks.

Neigh! It’s true!
Yum.
The sea
A fortune teller? I knew that would be there!
Bang!
Happy Haddock
My lovely company
This was the view from our hotel window! Yes, really!

The rest of the weekend was spent on rides and various tourist attractions, which I’ll tell you all about in another post, otherwise this one will be very very long!

books, crafting, crochet

A Favourite Book

Many many years ago, when I was still a student, I had taken up knitting. I was quite good, but I decided I wanted to try crochet. My mum crochets, y’see, and she raves about it. So I went to my local Borders (see how long ago it was!) and bought a book all about how to crochet.

Reader, I was hooked. Excuse the pun.

The book was ‘The Happy Hooker’ by Debbie Stoller, and followed on from her wildly successful ‘Stitch and Bitch’ knitting books.

It’s – how can I put this? – well-loved. The pages are falling out, the cover is bubbling and I’ve spilled something or other all over it.

Bubbling cover

Pages everywhere
God only knows what this spillage is!

It’s a wonderful book, which is why I’ve kept it, despite its falling to pieces. It has such clear instructions, and cute little illustrations, that I picked up crochet pretty quickly.

How to

It has such amazing patterns too. Some are whimsical and fluffy, some are funky, some are functional, some are girly, some are retro!

Whimsical cardigan
Girly cardigan
Putting the ‘fun’ in ‘functional’
Funky gloves
A cover for your iPod!

All in all, it’s a great book. I’m currently working on a blazer called ‘Prepster’ from it, and I’ll post pictures in due course. But if you’re thinking of taking up[ a new craft or hobby, I highly recommend crochet, and I highly recommend this book!

crafting, just for fun, sewing

Porcine Principles

I’m going to a fancy-dress party soon, and the theme is ‘cartoons/children’s programmes’. I am, therefore, going as my ultimate heroine and style icon, Miss Piggy. I’ve always been fond of pigs, and a pig in a glamorous frock? Well, I can’t resist.

I had to go to Hobbycraft the other day to buy some needles, and while I was there, I wandered into the felt section. On impulse, I bought some pink felt to get myself into the piggy mood and, on the train home, began to sew.

I made a Little Pig finger puppet. Yes, the stitching is a little… wacky, and whatever you do, don’t look at the back, but it’s the first thing I’ve sewn and I’m proud of it.

Now I’ve got into my porky groove, I need to finish my costume for Miss Piggy. Now, where did I leave my pearls?!

Don’t mention the stitches!
Sitting on my finger
crafting, crochet

Cotton Pads

I don’t often wear makeup, but when I do, I always make sure to remove it before bed. I wear face masks quite a lot and so get through cotton pads at quite a rate.

I’m also interested in trying to be as green as possible, so when I chanced upon some cotton yarn in my stash that was going nowhere, I decided to make my own. It was surprisingly easy!

I made a chain they can stay on, which can be hung up, and the pad can be pulled off the bottom. I only made seven (one for each day of the week, clever) but accidentally made the chain very long so I’ll have to make some more so it looks less… ‘empty’.

If you want to make your own, they’re very quick. All you need is cotton yarn, and I used a 4mm hook, but whatever your yarn says will be fine.

1. Chain 6, join to make a ring.

2. Chain 3, 11 treble (double if you’re American) into the ring. (12 stitches)

3. Chain 3, treble (double) into same space, 2 trebles (doubles) into each stitch around. (24 stitches)

4. Chain 3, 2 trebles (doubles) into next stitch, 1 treble (double) into next stitch all the way around. (36 stitches)

And you’re done!

For the chain, it was a lot of trial and error. I eventually ended up chaining 3, then doing 2 trebles. After that, I chained for as long as I thought would look good, then used a slip knot to make the loop. Easy!

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(One of) My Only Vice(s)

Stationery.

I love it, I love it, I love it. Ever since Paperchase apologised for their ocd handwash, I feel like I can go shopping in there again, and boy is it a joy.

I saw this flamingo notebook in there a couple of weeks ago, and it’s been burning a hole in my brain ever since. So yesterday, I went and bought it. So there.

I also bought a green memo pad. It has triangles on the pages, so I’ve done nothing with my memo pad yet except colour in triangles with my trusty yellow Lamy Safari (I love proper pens).

img_2322-1Maybe I should do a proper inventory of all my notebooks at some time. I used to be very into moleskines and I’ve got about a dozen of those knocking around. Be prepared to be amazed at the sheer volume of notebooks if I do!

I’m also baking a cake at the moment. I wanted to make French fancies, but now have realised I don’t have half of the equipment, so it’s just going to be a regular sponge. BUT NEXT TIME, I will to Lakeland and stock up and wow you all with my baking! …but not this time.