Saturday, 25 July 2015

Cosy Stripe catch up

Hello.......... It's been a little while since I posted about my Cosy blanket so I thought I'd best do a Stripy update.

I'm slowly working on it, in fact this week I've done quite a bit (for me anyway).  As sods law would have it, I've managed to pick up a nasty cold the week before we are due to go away on holiday.  The irony that the only place I've been to pick up a virus, is the Immunologists is not lost on me.

Really not good news as colds tend to linger with me and cause relapses. So I've not been the happiest of bunnies, the last few days, I'm taking loads of vitamin c and garlic and resting up as much as I can.  Which has been the perfect opportunity to snuggle up under my Cosy Blanket while adding a few rows.

So much so, my Seaside Pebble blanket has now got to the half way point, at about half the size of a double bed.

I'm still very much in love with all the sparkle, it's tricky to get a pic but here it is in the evening when the lights are on, how it twinkles and how different it looks in different lights.

Oh the lovely, lovely stripes, these tones really represent the seaside to me the water, pebbles, sand, sea foam, driftwood and sea glass, I can see it all in the blanket.

 I'm loving how it changes row by row, I'm still picking at random as I go, except for the browns and blues which are occurring in a sequence which is involving way to much maths for my liking, but as they are the colours that pop, I hope by doing this I'm adding some balance to blanket as a whole.

(Please mind the gap, not sure whats up with blogger, anyroad)

So next up we have Stone, which I'm using sparingly, every 24 th row (ish) as I'm not overly keen on the yellowness it brings, so just a bit sand on the beach here and there.  Then I'm going for the blue sparkle.

So to get you up to date with the colours if you are following along.

87-88 Silver
89-90 White Sparkle
91-92 Cream
93-94 Stone
95-96 Blue Sparkle

I'm using Lucy's Attic24 Cosy Stripe pattern

This will be my last post for a week or so as we're off to Pembrokeshire the middle of next week, I'm really looking forward to see some stunning scenery and the beaches, I just hope my energy levels hold up.

Linking up with Frontier Dreams KCCO

Happy Crafting
Clare xx

Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Here Lately

Hello...... Here lately the fields are turning golden, it won't be long before they are harvesting.

The Summerhouse is looking very Summery too.

Here Lately I've have dusted off a WIP from last summer. 

and have been sewing the sparkly flower together.

Lately the hanging baskets are finally starting to get going.

Lately I've been trying to get on my mat every few days, following the Safe Exercise recommendations for ME patients of Dr Klimas and it seems to be working as I've managed to build up my yoga, with my trusty heart rate monitor doing three minutes at a time, with a 5 minute rest in between.  I can now manage three sets.  It's a slow old game but I'd definitely recommend giving it a go if you suffer from ME/CFS or Chronic Lyme Disease.

I've also been checking how far I've still got to go with my Cosy blanket, this is another slow old game, but I'll get there, I think I'm just about at the half way point, if it's going to fit a double bed.

Lately I've been dreading thinking about starting the packing, as Yay we are going away next week, to gorgeous Wales.  I really hate packing it's such a exhausting business for me, it takes me days, slowly finding items and putting them in a pile a few minutes at a time. la sigh.

I'm really looking forward to the holiday though.

and picking my holiday read, I like to read a chapter of a few books before I go so I don't end up taking away a book I just can't get into, does anyone else do that?

and finally, lately Mr Tesco's seems to have had a bit of a moment, when sorting our online shop, I kid you not. Why and what !!! was the thinking behind sticking stickers directly onto all the loose fruit and veg, here's a little selection for your amusement.

Just before I go, I know I'm a bit latergram to the party on this one but I've finally set up a instagram page for the blog, you can find me on there as summerhouse by the sea.

Happy Crafting

Clare xx

Thursday, 16 July 2015

Little Stitchy Hedgehog

Hello........ Today it's a day in bed for me here at the Summerhouse, recovering after a very long day yesterday, so a lot of resting but I also needed something easy and crafty to pass the time.

I had a hospital appointment yesterday and in order to get up to Surrey we had to tackle this, everyone local to me in Kent with realise this is what they call 'Operation Stack' when the motorways and main roads of Kent turn into one giant lorry park, every time there is a problem at the Port or the Channel Tunnel, the motorway is closed and you just have miles and miles of lorries, I feel so sorry for the lorry drivers and everyone else trying to use the roads

In the end the round trip took us nearly seven hours, no wonder I feel so wiped out, but at least the Immunologist had a few ideas of things we can try to hopefully make me feel as bit better, I'm just a little concerned at the mo that it will involve me being let loose with a syringe.

So today called for a little bit of low energy crafting while I'm in bed, this little kit which came free with September 2014's Crafts Beautiful magazine was just the thing.  You can find the templates  'here'
 other than that it's just felt, thread and a pompom.

The kit has several things you could make but I opted for this little hedgehog who I'm hoping will feel right at home on my Autumn time wreath.

First up I cut out the pieces

Then started to stitch on the eye, instead of a french knot I decided to opted for eyelashes as this is a little lady hedgehog.

 I also decided to add a pompom nose, as every self respecting hedgehog need a good snuffly snout. 

 Next up it was time to start stitching on the prickles,

then the face onto the main part of the body, 

before finishing off with some v shaped prickles.

then all that was left to do was to sew on the pompom nose, (so cute)


Here she is snoozing in the leaves, patiently waiting until it's time to put the Autumn time Wreath back up.

Hopefully she will make a very cute addition.

Happy Crafting

Clare xx

Monday, 13 July 2015

Mindfulness Photography : Senses

Hello...... A couple of weeks ago I took part in another Mindfulness Photography project over on facebook which I thought I would also share on here. So the brief was...

'I have a new challenge for you, whilst still being 'mindful' I'm challenging us to use our 5 traditional senses this time....i notice that with our type of restricting illnesses our senses are often heightened, whether through our general sensitivity or through the fact that we can be shut away for long periods and then when we go out certain things can be a shock to our systems....  so, 5 photos, 5 senses, try to show us a smell, a sight, a sound, a touch and a taste, that you love'

 Suffering with ME/Chronic Lyme disease and POTS has really really messed with some of my senses, as mentioned in the description above, I have a very heighten sense of smell, which you might think is a good thing like a super power but it's really not, it's left me with MCS multiple chemical sensitivities, plus not only can I smell nice smells the bad ones are extra smelly too. I'm also sensitive to sound and light, I can't look at a bright blue sky or white wall without seeing what I describe as sparkles, like falling flashing glitter in my field of vision, it's another mystery no one really knows.. the optician thinks it's something happening between my eyes and brain, my GP said it's where I'm housebound so much, who knows just one of the great mysteries of these illnesses.

So here goes ...........

First up we have Smell this rose is in the front garden and is just stunning, with a beautiful scent, it's over 40 years old now and is just perfect with it's velvety petals.

Next up we have Sound, some of you may know I'm a bit of a singer/songwriter I write British folk and Americana music which I sometimes perform too if I'm well enough at a local folk night. I play guitar, mandolin and I've just started to learn the Ukulele.  I'd love to do more with it but my healths just not up to it at the moment, so I have to miss out on a lot of things, recently I was invited to go and play in France in September but I'm not well enough to manage it.

Most days you will find music here at the Summerhouse, something quite low and quiet, as I struggle a bit with loud stuff these days.

Next up we have Touch and our lovely Dylan, at the moment we are spending a lot of time caring for this lovely boy, he's old and not in the best of health, so we are just loving him while we have him with us. Being part persian he has the softest two tone coat, brown on the top but if you part his fur he's all white and fluffy underneath.

Sight, I love to be in nature which is tricky these days and I love flowers too, which if you're a regular follower you will probably already know.  So our visit to a local wildlife garden a couple of weeks ago was a true feast for the eyes.

Finally we have Taste something else effected by this illness, with lots of allergies and intolerance and as of last year a wobbly pancreas I have to be really be careful of what I eat. So I tend to eat a very clean and healthy diet, this was a lunch,  mackerel salad with lemon and apple cider dressing. 

So yummy.

Well that's about it, I hope you all had a wonderful weekend, what five things would you pick for the senses.

Clare xx

Thursday, 9 July 2015

Patchwork June

Hello......It's round up time again, here's the patchworks from June at the Summerhouse.

A month with lots of birthdays, flowers and crafting, I tried my hand at decoupage and made a pretty butterfly, we went garden visiting and played some music, in fact I starting to learn to play something new a Ukulele and of course there was some crochet too.  You can find out more about each project over in the June blog archive on top right of the page.

Out in the Summerhouse garden the roses were at there best so it was the perfect time to put the Summertime wreath back up.  With Iris, fuchsia and the Penstemon in bud too, the gardens looking very colourful if not a little weedy, oh and not forgetting the wonderful fragrance from the orange blossom.

As for July well I really need to get on with some of these WIP's my Cosy blanket and Ice cream cushion, plus the sparkling flowers that I made last year for a Cowl, best get on with putting them together, ready for Autumn oh and these little birdies need some attention too, they've been on the go since before I started this blog eek!!

What have you got planned for July I'll love to know ?
Linking up with KCCO
Happy Crafting 

Clare xx

Monday, 6 July 2015

Mandalas for Wink

Hello........... After hearing the sad news about Wink last week I decided I wanted to make one of her colourful mandalas, to help celebrate her wonderful creativity,

So yesterday I dug out the Drops Paris and choose this pattern from her  'A Creative Being blog'.  I really loved how the the shells in the outer part of the pattern reminded me of clouds and blues reminded me of Summer skies, I was a little concerned about the spokes and my lack of a Tunisian crochet hook, but I was willing to give it a try.

So the colours I picked all remind me of Summertime, I had a idea to turn the centre and spokes into the sun with each ring of the mandala representing a different aspect of Summer, so first up the Sun, then grass and  summer meadows with the green, which has a lovely lovely bit of sparkle and is the only cotton used that is not Drops Paris, it's called 'Ella' by Sirdar shade 0008

Next up a Turquoise blue sky

Then grey storm clouds, just like yesterdays weather, well it wouldn't be summer here in the UK without them.

Then green again as I just love that sparkle and turquoise followed by a darker Turquoise for the Sea, now something magical happen when I added the turquoise and green as that stormy grey now appears to be lilac, it's not just a camera trick, in reality it looks that way too.

So seven rounds done following Winks wonderful tutorial.

Next up the round that really inspired me, the clouds, now I started off with white then I got a little scared, it was a bit too white !! and stark against the other rounds, so I admit to a little wobble at this point but hey its all part of the creative process. So I tried a Ecru and also a very pale ice blue. 

But it just had to be White, as what I wanted was white fluffy summer cotton wool clouds. So I was brave and just went for it with the white, eek thinking if I had too I could rip it out. 

No need for concern though as when I added the Summer sky blue, I was in love with those fluffy white clouds again.  That's not to say things went smoothly, 'where are the spokes I here you ask?' well I tried and failed, I was lacking the right sort of hook and the talent so it would seem. 

So at this point I adapted Winks pattern a little and just completed the round without adding in the Spokes.  There's no picture as I was huffy and puffy and scratching my head too much at the time to remember to take one, really must get me a Tunisian hook for the future.

I then had the idea to make some spokes for my sun rays from simple chains, but in the end decided against it.  So I apologise for adapting Winks wonderful pattern. 

As there were no spokes I was left with loops on the first round where I had only crocheted the back loops as per the pattern in the second round.

So what to do with the centre of the mandala, the loops in the yellow round we mocking me and my inability to make spokes so after a bit of pondering, I decided to add a flower, now what I should have done is make one, but as I was very tired by this point I just pinched one off my Summertime wreath.


My Summer Skies Mandala.

Depression is such a terrible illness that doesn't discriminate, it can happen to anyone at anytime and claims far to many.  Hug you loved ones real close as you never know how they are feeling and what the future may hold.


I will miss Marinke's colourful blog and creativity very much, I hope she has found peace.

Clare xx