Sunday 31 March 2013

♥ Happy Easter ♥ 13/52

Hello Lovelies,
I seem to have quite a bit I would like  to share with you lovelies at the moment, so my 52 weeks of happy has changed into a bit of a longer post this week....hope that's OK  :0)

1.My  Welsh dresser

I'm still loving having this wonderful piece of furniture. Every so often (when it gets dusty) I take everything off the shelves and, after a good polish, I change things around a bit.
It's such good fun to play about grouping different bits and bobs, trying out various arrangements .
At the moment the bunches daffodils I'm buying  in the shops seem to have very short stems ( I guess the bad weather may be the reason )
But short stems are ideal to fit on the shelves of my dresser........

A simple thing like having fresh flowers on my dresser is making me very happy at the moment..........

2. Baking, having a go at making my own Hot Cross Buns......well I suppose they are crossless buns, as I didn't have a piping bag to add the crosses.........

Flavoured with orange zest, grated apple, cinnamon and sultanas ....they are yummy.

3.Books and Magazines

My Christmas present subscription to Country Living magazine continues to delight but I'm also enjoying some great charity bookshop finds.......

 I was so Happy to find a copy of " The Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady" for less than the price of a magazine.
 If you have been reading my blog for a long time you may remember when I shared each months images from this books sister title " The Nature Notes of an Edwardian Lady " back in 2011.
I really love Edith Holden's work and I may have to share some more of this book here as the year progresses :0)

Here is an illustration from March........

and a couple of extracts from April.........

A book about " Summer wine" country caught my eye as the t.v. programme " Last of the Summer Wine " was filmed close to where I grew up and this book does not have pictures of the characters , just sweet views of this corner of the world..........

Another cheap second hand book I'm really enjoying is this one about Beatrix Potter

As well as some of her very familiar and adorable illustrations, like these..........

There are some of her other paintings of the lake district landscape she so loved..........

And some stunning photography ............

4. I'm still enjoying doing my own drawings , this time a snowy picture inspired by some photos I took last Saturday.
I like how this picture turned out . It doesn't have as much detail as some of my other drawings , but I really tried to get the perspective right....

And I like the figures , but I  especially like the cute little dachshund dog in his tartan waistcoat and the birds at the bird table..........

I hope you enjoyed all the images in this extra long " happy post " and what ever you are doing this Easter I hope you have chance to slow down a bit and enjoy the little things ( and some yummy treats....cadburys mini eggs are my weakness )
Jacquie x

Wednesday 27 March 2013

Mini Crochet Bird....a how to

Hello Lovelies,
as I mentioned in my previous post I've been doing a little bit of crochet this week. 
On Saturday , while the snow fell, I enjoyed playing around choosing jolly spring colours.
This was one of those projects that just pops into your head and you need to start right away......

It's really the simplest of things.....and if you've read the title you will know these circles are going to become a bird...

Or several birds to hang on our Easter "tree"...........

Ohhhhhh lovely :0), sometimes the simplest ideas are the best , don't you think.
 The first time I made a  bird in this way was following Lucy's wonderful tutorial HERE.  My version  just uses a smaller circle.

 They are super quick and simple to do .

Here's how ........... First pop over to my Owl tutorial HERE and follow my photo tutorial on how to make these modified sunburst granny circles. Once you have made at least one pop back here .

Weave in the ends then make a hanging loop.........I used some thin ribbon as I had some in my sewing box, but you could use yarn. I made a big knot in my ribbon and poked it through the hole in the centre of my circle

I then attached some really small buttons, one on each side of the folded circle, for eyes .
 I made a couple of wings from felt in a teardrop shape, which I embellished ( love that word ) before sewing to either side of my bird.

Next I made a beak by folding a triangle of felt in half .
I sewed it in place as I sewed the two halves of the bird closed with some matching thread. I started sewing at the beak and did a small running stitch close to the edge of the semi circle, through both sides.
When I got close to the back of the little birdy I popped in a small amount of stuffing before finishing the job........

Then there was just the tail tuft to add ,it's made in the same way as my owls ear tufts , so you can copy my instructions over there if you are unsure....again it's really easy.

Here's what he looks like from above...

I really enjoyed making these little cuties, I think they are perfect for Easter , but also great for any time you want a bit of crochet fun.

Each of mine is embellished in slightly different ways.....I love them all and hope they have given you some inspiration for making your own variations.

I realize the sewing bits of this project don't have detailed , step by step pictures, but hopefully my description and pictures are clear enough for you to follow , it's a very flexible project so there's no wrong way ....just experiment and see what works with what you have.

If you need any more explanation please let me know.

Enjoy .

Jacquie x

Sunday 24 March 2013

♥ 52 weeks of happy ♥ 12/52

Hello Lovelies,
well it may be officially Spring now, but somebody forgot to tell the weather.It's hardly stopped snowing since Friday. Here are my cold weather Happy Moments for this week
1. Baking in a warm and cosy kitchen, simple cup cakes in pretty, spotty cases......

2. Looking out across  neighbours gardens, the view is so pretty........

3. Pulling on my spotty wellies and walking to the shops with my the sound of our footsteps and the stillness snow brings........

4. Coming home to defrost and suddenly getting inspired to pick up my crochet hook for the first time in weeks.........pretty spring coloured circles for a little Easter project......

I will share it with you lovelies  very soon, just tweaking a few things at the's looking good so far :0)

Hope you are finding ways to keep warm and happy if you are snowbound too.

I must say THANK YOU for all your wonderful comments about my latest drawing......they are very special , and certainly a big happy thing in my week.

Jacquie x

Friday 22 March 2013

This weeks drawing....people

Hello Lovelies ,
I can't tell you how much it means to me that so many of you are happy to join me on this detour from my usual craft. It's taken me by surprise too.

So what am I attempting at the moment.......yikes ....people.

 I like to see people in pictures as it adds interest , but they are a difficult subject to do really well.
I know my drawing is pretty unaccomplished , but simple people , you know sort of that what I mean ? ....I could have a go at those.........maybe.

This is not my work......but Mum's wonderful painting, so full of life and well observed people.

The inspiration for my picture came from an activity my eldest enjoys, and also the work of THIS talented artist I discovered last week.

Each week we head off, just the two of us , into the city , to the ice rink. It's always nice to get a bit of one to one time with any of my boys, so I enjoy our chats in the car , catching up with each others news.
Once we are there and he's got his skates on and gone off for his lesson I usually sit and crochet or read.

That was my plan last week, but instead I pulled out a note book and pen and did a little sketch of what I could see around me. Really noticing the environment that is so full of life and colour and very familiar to me nowadays.

Then at home I started to draw....first in pencil, then in really fine pen.....this one doesn't erase.
 Oh it was hard drawing the people.....I haven't tried to do that since I was at school ( a LONG time ago ) but after much pondering and rubbing out I was reasonably happy with the results.

 Here is the picture before colouring...........

As you can see it's got a lot going on , but that is what it's like at the ice rink and I wanted to capture a moment in time almost. I wanted it to be well observed and a record of something that I could not easily take a pretty photo of .

And ,well, I think it does that.........

You may need to click on the picture to see it clearly

There are many small details I observed .........

What do I think of it ? Well.....I think it shows how little drawing experience I really have, much more than my last picture.

 But hey I'm still happy  that I had a go and recorded a part of  life with my rapidly growing boys .
Overall I think it's FUN . It was fun to do....and I hope it made you smile.
Jacquie x

Sunday 17 March 2013

♥ 52 weeks of happy ♥ 11/52

Hello Lovelies,
here are some of my happy things from this week.

1. Waking up to glorious sunshine, BEFORE the alarm, on my day off in the week.........

the days are so much longer now

2. Tiny tete-a-tetes flowering in the rain soaked garden......

shame the sun didn't stick around for the weekend.

 3. planting some seeds yesterday........I've been waiting quite a long time to start this years seeds off. So much promise ....I love watching seedlings emerge and grow........

4. I've got lots more jobs I would like to get on with in the garden , but with the disappointing weather  I'm happy to draw instead........

the chickens were copied from a picture in this months Country Living......then I added some forget-me-nots  and snakes head fritillary , because I like them :0) Again I've used pen and coloured pencils.....I'm quite pleased with how it turned out.

Today , with help from my boys, I have drawn the winners for my PIF and contacted them. So my parcels will  soon be winging their way around the globe...spreading a bit of bloggy love.
Thank you all for entering , another happy part of my life is the wonderful blog community I'm lucky to have discovered.You really are a super kind and generous lot.
Jacquie x

Thursday 14 March 2013

Anticipating Spring

 Hello lovelies,
Yesterday we woke to sunshine and though it was cold I couldn't wait to go for a walk in the countryside.
The trees are still bare .......

And there is only a tiny amount of blossom, you have to look hard to find it........

But walking along quite footpaths and admiring the blue sky with cotton wool clouds was bliss......

The air was crisp and fresh and the sun on my back even had a bit of heat in it.........

There was such an air of anticipation ....... from the ploughed fields ready to be planted with a new crop......... to the willows in the valley already changing colour.
 I think the weeping willows are the first trees you can really notice beginning to wake up after their winter rest..........

the fields looked like patchwork , glimpsed over the still bare hedgerows.........

And there was slushy ice on the pond........

Yes , spring has not really got going yet , but it's so close you can almost taste it. There are buds on the daffodils and the Blackbirds are busy pulling up worms, possibly for their young ?

In the churchyard snowdrops are still in flower and it's the sort of day that makes you feel very blessed to have time to slow down a bit and appreciate it......

I even found time to photograph a very sweet cottage looking lovely in the sunshine ......

A bit of online research tells me that  this sort of timbered building will have been built in the early 17th century........400 years
 I LOVE simple ,old buildings .....of course I would love to try and draw this :0)

Not long now to the Equinox. ........oh Spring , my most favourite time of year.

P.S. I haven't forgotten about the PIF....I'll draw the winners on Sunday ....hope that's ok
Jacquie x