January so far

You can take the Brit out of Britain but you can’t take the Britain out of the Brit and so with that thought in mind I’m going to start todays post, true Brit style with a bit about the weather. What a mixed bag of weather we have had so far this January! We have had the odd sunny spell (fairly few and far between, I must say), we’ve had rain, we’ve had hail, we’ve had snow and just this last Thursday we  had the mother of all storms, with winds over 100km, schools closed and trees falling left right and centre, it was a bit scary if I’m honest. Most of all though January has been grey, grey, grey and sooo dark. When its so dark outside its  easy to start feeling glum but I can say thankfully that this year it has not hit me in the slightest. In fact the only thing blue around here are the shades of blue in some of the fabric and yarn I’ve been using. I’m not sure quite why, maybe its the fact that I went on the sun bed, burnt my bottom slightly and had a glow for a few days…as the glow worm song goes, its hard to be glum when the sun shines out your bum!!

Image result for glow worm clip artSeriously though, I’m very thankful to be feeling good, whatever the reason.

I’m actually rather pleased with myself at how much I have managed to fit in this January and we’ve still got over a week left. The craft room sort has continued, the bed has gone and whilst we are planning on getting a bed settee to replace it, I’m actually enjoying having the space to spread out a bit at the moment…

At the side of the picture you can see a blanket laid out, this is the baby blanket I have been working on for a friends baby and as it has now been gifted, I can show you. Its actually the first time I have ever bothered to block a blanket as the squares had bunched up a bit. I was a bit nervous about blocking as I hadn’t done it before but I’m pretty pleased with how it turned out.

I really love this blanket, especially the way you can see the crosses in the squares when the blanket is laid out. I’m very happy to say that the recipient was very happy with it too, which is after all why I make them.

I have been having a little experiment with appliqueing and stencilling bags with the idea of selling them at a craft fairs…

I’d love to know what you think of them.

In recent months as I think I mentioned in my last post, I’ve been  yearning to work with fabric and start using the sewing machine again. I have so many ideas for things Id like to make on the sewing machine but have decided to start with bunting and bags. The bunting is all cut out and ready to go…

and here is the fabric I have lined up for the bags…

I still haven’t actually got the sewing machine out yet, for some reason I’m procrastinating. Its maybe nerves as I haven’t had the machine out for 2 years and I’m a bit worried I wont remember what to do.  I am determined to get it out this week though and to have finished the bunting and a couple of bags by the end of January.

I’ve started running again after just not feeling like it for the last couple of months and am pretty happy with my progress. I even forced myself to go out on my own on a particularly cold and slushy Friday morning on my day off. I’m going to have a look for some 10km races to enter and once I see how they go, I may think about another half marathon.

I’ve even managed to find some time to do a bit of colouring (see top picture). Normally I don’t really see the point of those adult colouring books as you spend so long colouring the picture but don’t actually do anything with it. As part of one of my secret Santa presents at work I was bough a mindfulness colouring calendar, so I thought I’d have a go and as the picture will be displayed for a whole month I thought it was worth giving it a go. I have to say I really enjoyed it, Little Miss was doing her colouring alongside me and it was a really nice way to spend an hour or so.

I hope your January is going well  and that you too are escaping the post Christmas blues. I’d love to know what craft projects you have been getting up to.

Karen x

Thank you 2017, welcome 2018

HAPPY NEW YEAR

I know its a couple of days late but hey ho, its the thought that counts!

New year is a time where we like to look forward to the year ahead and what we hope it will bring, along with our goals to achieve. Whilst I do like to do this, I think its important first of all to look back at the last year and to give thanks for all the good times it brought.

 

2017 was, on the whole a good year for our family. Of course there were some difficult times, especially the loss of a dear relative just before Christmas. However, lots of good times were also had and what better way to celebrate than with pictures:

 

January brought with it a fair bit of crocheting, mostly in the form of hats:

 

February marked the first of our holidays, with a trip to Holland and the start of the granny stripe/ mojo blanket :

 

March was all about the flowers and lots of crafting with little miss:

 

 

 

 

April marked the second break of the year, a few days away in Oberhausen and not forgetting my first half marathon of the year:

 

 

May was the month in which I was introduced to a lovely little ceramic studio and  the start of my addiction to ceramic painting. There was also a visit to England, including running the Liverpool half marathon:

 

In June I ran my third half marathon of the year, took part in a charity 5km run  and had a few nice family local days out:

 

 

July was the only month in which I didn’t post anything here but it was a busy month with 2 trips back to the UK for weddings and a visit by my lovely Mum and Dad and 2 of our nephews and nieces.

What a relaxing month August was with a 2 week holiday in the caravan at the Norfolk broads:

 

 

In September I ran  the Berlin marathon for the second time, raising over £500  and also finished making the squares for the eclectic mix granny squares blanket:

 

 

 

October finally marked the completion of the eclectic mix large granny squares blanket and some heart bunting :

 

November was all about organising my craft room and completing the granny stripe/ mojo blanket:

 

 

December was a busy month. Crafting wise it was all about making Christmas cards.  It was also the month our little girl turned 4, we went on Santa’s steam train, visited Christmas markets, had snow, had a visit from dear friends, had some more snow and  topped the year off with a fabulous Christmas with family back in England:

 

 

Looking ahead to 2018

I tend not to make too many ‘resolutions’ as I think we have a tendency to start the year off setting unrealistic expectations for ourselves and setting ourselves up for failure within the first couple of weeks of the new year. With this in mind I have just set myself a few goals which I hope to achieve this year:

  • Build up my blog readership (I’m not  certain that anyone has actually been reading my blog for the last year and a half. If you read it regularly, please do let me know, so I can stop singing “All by myself…” Bridget Jones’ style as I’m typing )
  • Assign more time to crafting (my Fridays off are going to be dedicated to crafting and building up new crafty skills)
  • To make items to sell at a craft stall (I’ve been meaning to do this for years and have just never got round to it but I’m determined that this will be the year!)
  • To start machine sewing again (the poor sewing machine hasn’t seen the light of day in the last 2 years!)
  • To build on my photography skills and find my way around my new Camera (a Christmas present from my lovely other half).

As well as the above, there may be a bit of running squeezed in with possibly a few half marathons (I’ve got to keep feeding my medal addiction!) but absolutely no full marathons this year!

Have you set yourself any goals you’d be happy to share? I’d love to hear them.

Here’s to a fantastic 2018 and most of all… happy crafting.

 

Karen x

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Techy problems

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

For a long time I’ve not been able to work out how to claim my blog on bloglovin, so here goes. I’m also going to try to change the name as originally I set it up as a box of buttons and then changed it to a box of allsorts and it has shown up on bloglovin as buttons ever since. If I can crack this I’ll be as happy as a pig in muck, spending time on complicated techy things really does stress me out, especially as it eats into valuable crafting time!

 

Karen x

 

Edit: Yes! I did it! Oink Oink!

Edit 2: Check me out, I even added a widget!

Just the right sort of busy…

I haven’t posted anything these last couple of weeks as we seem to have been quite busy with one thing or another here in chez Oakley. Now, often when people say they’re busy it’s that ‘running around, can’t fit everything in, tearing your hair out’ sort of busy. Thankfully we haven’t been that sort of busy, no we’ve just had lots of nice things to do and time seems to have been whizzing by.

It’s now less than 4 months until I run the Berlin marathon so I’ve been trying to step up my running and last weekend I took part in another half marathon.
It was quite warm, I didn’t really enjoy it and I was not at all happy with my time. I was so annoyed with myself that it gave me the kick up the bum that I  needed to get my head in the game and get out running more often. Today little one and I (actually me pushing her if we’re honest!) took part in a 5km charity run. It was fun as there was no pressure and even though it was blinking hot, I really enjoyed it.
I just love living here, especially in the summer as there’s always something happening somewhere in the local area. A couple of weekends ago we went to a fab air show about 30 minutes away in a place called Oerlinghausen. Little miss had a fabulous time on a quad bike (as did Daddy!) and in a peddle along aeroplane and we all loved seeing the planes, model and real performing some amazing stunts.
In the same weekend there was a festival in the park only 10 minutes walk away with live music, plenty of stuff to keep little miss entertained  and as we were walking we were able to have a cocktail…or 2.
Last weekend was taken up with the half marathon and another a festival in the park, this time put on by the fire brigade with fire engines to look around and again plenty of things for children. There is a fabulous ice cream parlour in the park so we treated ourselves…yum yum!
This Friday little miss’ kindergarten was closed for a training day and as Friday is my day off we were lucky enough to spend the day together. The weather wasn’t the best so we decided to do some baking and making but we did manage to get out for a couple of short rides around the block on her balance bike (stopping of course for the obligatory game of pooh sticks on the way). She’s getting so whizzy now on her balance bike I actually had to run to keep up with her.
Yesterday comprised of me shopping for outfits for 2 weddings we are going back to England for in July, whilst Daddy took little Miss strawberry picking and then we all went out for an early Father’s Day meal last night.  Then with today’s run and then friends coming over to play we’ve had such a busy weekend.
So you see, we have been very busy lately but just the right sort of busy having fun!
Karen x

Every day’s a school day!

Last week in one of our school staff meetings, we were shown our way around the new school website and how to add posts etc. Well, it turns out that our school website and my blog both use word press and so I learned a few things that I’m hoping to put into practise here. I learned how to resize photos (hence the larger photos in my last few posts) and how to categorise posts, so hopefully I’ll be able to use some of these things to organise my bloggy space a bit better. Watch this space for a few changes. Who knew I’d learn something at a school staff meeting that would  help me with my blog?! Every day really is a school day!!

 

Karen x