November 28th – My Birthday in History -A Keepsake Gift Idea*

This post contains a product I was gifted in return for an honest review,

all opinions are my own*

It’s that time of year again!

The Christmas music has been playing in shops for a couple of weeks, everyone’s talking about parties and people are generally in that feel-good stage before the chaos of December.

It’s also my birthday…IMG_6333There are good and bad sides to having a late November birthday, I usually joke that it is always raining (it’s looking accurate this year), a lot of people don’t want to go out much because they’re saving for Christmas, and trying to find birthday related things can be a bit of a struggle as shops have been festive for weeks. On the other hand, it’s a great time of year to wear comfy jumpers and boots (my favourite) and meet up for coffee and food! People are generally in a pretty good mood at this time of year, as the pre Christmas panic hasn’t quite set in yet, and of course it’s party season!

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Birthday last year!

These days I tend to have fairly relaxed birthdays, spent crafting or chilling with friends. Which is pretty good to be honest! A friend of ours has a birthday two days after mine so usually we end up going out to dinner, and there’s usually something fun happening around this time of year because it’s 4 weeks ’til Christmas!

I’ve always been fascinated by “days of the year” so here are some interesting facts about things that have occurred on my birthday in history:

  • 1520 Ferdinand Magellan a Portuguese explorer who led the first expedition to sail around the world, sighted a great ocean and named it the “Pacific”
  • 1814 The Times was printed by steam power for the first time
  • 1907 In Haverhill, Massachusetts, scrap-metal dealer Louis B. Mayer opens his first movie theater
  • 1919 Lady Astor is elected as a Member of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. She is the first woman to sit in the House of Commons
  • 1990 British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher resigns

I share my birthday with some quite interesting people, there are loads so here are 10:

  • 1943 – Randy Newman
  • 1944 – Rita Mae Brown
  • 1950 – Ed Harris
  • 1959 – Judd Nelson
  • 1961 – Alfonso Cuarón
  • 1962 – Jon Stewart
  • 1970 – Richard Osman
  • 1973 – Jade Puget
  • 1984 – Mary Elizabeth Winstead
  • 1987 – Karen Gillan

I’ve been into this sort of thing for years though I found some of this information out, and lots more, in this fun “Your Birthday” book* Papers Past (1)This is a great gift idea, with vibrant colour pages, lots of information, including events of the month, Papers Past (3)zodiac information,papers-past-2.jpg inventions of the day and more! This really is a great keepsake book for special days.

Available from Papers Past right here in Truro, Cornwall, this is a small hardback book available for every day of the year! These would make great stocking fillers for Christmas and are currently available with this amazing special offer of 4 for £10 including UK postage! Papers Past (4)Papers Past also sell other incredible gifts like special date (real) ‘Times’ newspapers, (which come with a certificate of authenticity)  beautifully packaged with a couple of options, and family tree posters to help compile your own history. Also they are a local independent business, so you know that you will be treated well, and your gift will be cared for! Not to mention you’ll make REAL people happy when shopping this Christmas!

Did anything interesting happen on your Birthday? Do you share it with a celebrity? Let me know in the comments!

This post contains a product I was gifted in return for an honest review,

all opinions are my own*

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Knitting the Doctor Who Scarf

Ah the Doctor Who scarf, made famous of course by the Fourth Doctor played by Tom Baker.

Photo from tombakerofficial.com ©BBC

There are patterns readily available for free online (Just google it) and a colleague was making one a few years ago and I thought I’d have a go because my brother is a huge Doctor Who fan. I’d just started knitting at the time, and it’s a simple project, to get me used to keeping tension.

 

There are of course several scarves, it was originally made with odd bits of yarn, and occasionally ripped and was repaired, so the length of the original varied throughout the series.

I stuck with *mostly* the design on the pattern the first time round, when I made the first one as a gift for my brother. I did make it slightly shorter, just to be practical. Or as practical as it could be! It was still really long!

Knitting a scarf as big as yourself…

First one. You read that right.

This was after casting off “scarf 2” but before it was finished.

When I had finished, I wanted one for myself, and so, on slightly larger needles, and making it a bit wider, I started again.

When I’d finally finished “scarf 2” aka my one!

It did take me a while to actually finish mine.

The hardest part for me is getting all the yarn ends wound in, because there are loads of them!

Charlestown Harbour (2018) which did appear in Doctor Who – Do you know which episode?

I did get it finished though, and have worn it, even earlier this year when we had all the snow!

Around a year ago, I found some of the yarn I had leftover from making the two, and Stu said he’d like a more practical version, and so I got started on making him a standard scarf length crop of the original pattern. And then like so many projects, it was tucked away because it wasn’t done in time for Christmas.

Digging it out again this week, I realised I didn’t have much left to actually knit, and most of the work left was the dreaded ends, so I spent a day on the sofa armed with plenty of tea, good movies and a crochet hook, and lo and behold – it is finished! 

So that’s three.

It’s an easy enough scarf to knit once you have all the colours, which is pretty flexible, and it’s a quick knit, as it’s all in garter stitch. The hardest part is definitely threading the ends in, which I would thoroughly recommend doing as you go, because it’s less of a mundane task at the end (and trust me, depending on how long your scarf is, it takes a while!).

What do you think? Have you ever had a go at one of these? Would you?

Like this post?

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2018 Scrapbook – February

So, a quick Scrapbook update!

Previous layout: January

So I also decided somewhere along the line in February that I liked the Disney sketching, so have carried on with that as well… It gets me drawing again if nothing else!!

February was quite busy in the end, we visited Trelissick, it was pancake day and then Valentines (not that we do much – but there were cards!) We went to see Bill Bailey live at the Hall for Cornwall which was SO funny and a great night out!

I also went to the Craft for Crafters show in Exeter, and also visited Jo Downs gallery! Another day we stopped for a wander around Charlestown, which I always love! Especially when we go for a cream tea too! And then there was snow!

Also three trips to the cinema (ok, four but we’d seen Coco already…) and the usual books and movie challenges added in for good measure!

So here are my February pages:

I’ll add a nice photo of us in at some point, but didn’t take it off my phone!

Do you do any scrapbooking or art journaling? Do share below!

Days Out – February Walk at Trelissick

Something I wanted to start doing this year, was post more about things I’m doing outside of home, and sharing some places I go, and what I get up to! And photos of course.

At the beginning of February, there was another sunny day, and we decided to make the most of it, and once again check out somewhere we’d never been before in Cornwall.

We were given National Trust membership as a gift for Stu’s Birthday so we decided to go and check out some local places! Unfortunately many are closed until March, but we found somewhere open near us to have a wander! 

Trelissick

Located in Feock (near Truro) Trelissick is a beautiful garden on the Fal estuary, with a 40 acre garden as well as woodland walks, it is a must for those who enjoy roaming around in nature! You can also take the King Harry Ferry over to or from Falmouth or the Roseland Peninsula from the small dock in the garden!

As well as the garden and beach, there is also Trelissick house, which is now partially open to the public. You can have a look around the ground floor of the house, and there are friendly welcoming staff who are glad to share their knowledge of the house and its former inhabitants!

There is an on site restaurant, for food and drink or if you are visiting the house you can pop into the Kitchen, a now modernised tea-room, with a delightful snug to have a hot drink and some cake!

There is also a gift shop and plant shop. Our Day:

We arrived ample parking, at a charge (free for NT members) and though it was fairly busy, walking around it was  still quiet. Many come for the woodland walks, which is great for bringing along any four-legged friends!

We were greeted in the reception area, where tickets can be purchased  We were then given a map, and the lady on reception pointed out a couple of places of interest. Trelissick garden is noted for its camellias, rhododendrons and a collection of exotic plants former residents have collected on their travels around the world. We then set off, walking around, there is a lot to see, of course many plants, trees and flowers, as well as tennis courts and of course the riverside, with views of Falmouth. We also spotted some birds and other wildlife on our walk, and some sheep grazing in the grounds! We went around the house, learning of the history of Spode china associated with the family there, of which there is a collection, the flowers which were hand painted on these plates were taken from the gardens!And in the sitting room, being musical we played the piano a little (not well I might add!) much to the amusement of the staff! We loved the stunning orangery too! Something I enjoyed was a small exhibit showing how the house was cared for and the equipment needed for cleaning and preserving the house and the items within! While we were in the house we stopped in for a cup of tea in the kitchen,  Sat in the snug, we enjoyed the view of the holiday cottages, including the Water Tower, which is beautiful, and complete with its own resident bats! I’m almost sorry we don’t live further away so we could stay here! We also visited the gift shop, which sold a range of things, both souvenirs and items for your own garden, as well as national trust gifts and some locally produced items, and foods.

 

We stayed for a good couple of hours or so, and really enjoyed our day! It’s so local we’ll hopefully go back a lot more often!

The content in this post is purely my opinion, based on my personal experience,

and has not been sponsored in any way.

2018 Scrapbook – January

So, for the last few years, I have had a smashbook, in which I record the goings on through the year, but I have something different for 2018!

I hadn’t got one, and I was in town and having a wander around Wilkinsons when I found this: 

Check out that binding! 

SO many scrapbooks have tiny ring binding, and this happens:

[Need to take a pic of one of the many books – will be updated asap]

So I picked one up for £4(!!), even though it was tempting to buy more; took it home; and was greeted by 25 blank white pages, in this sleek black book. It’s approximately 8x8ins (a little over) so a good standard scrapbook size for paper should I want to use it. I didn’t have a clue where to start. A first was deciding how to divide the pages, (which is four sides a month… or two double pages, with the exception of December which has three, but I can remedy this with the back cover when I get there). Sort of came up with the idea of blending drawing and scrapping and general unplanned goodness…

I say unplanned, I know each month will need a space for cinema tickets, and for me to write in a couple of challenge based things, such as books and the blog movie challenge, as well as photos from any trips and days out.

I began, as is fairly traditional; at the beginning: And I made an at a glance calendar page, because these are always handy, when sort of pre-prepping pages: And then I started on January! 

I’m really pleased with the book, having done the layouts for January, it’s nice to work with, and the pages are nice and thick (enough that standard felt-tipped pen doesn’t bleed through, though I’ve stayed away from the sharpies for now!) and I have hope that this bigger binding will cope with all the photos and stuff that will no doubt be thrown in, at least better than some books I’ve had in the past!

I hope you have liked the peek into my book! I’ll share every month!

Do you do any scrapbook or art journaling? Do share below!

Cornwall, Days Out, Walks, Gardens, Trebah,

Days Out – Winter Walks in Cornwall Gardens

Something I wanted to start doing this year, was post more about things I’m doing outside of home, and sharing some places I go, and what I get up to! And photos of course.

At the beginning of January, in between all of the rain(!) there was a brief sunny day, and we decided to make the most of it, and check out somewhere we’d never been before in Cornwall.Cornwall, Days Out, Walks, Gardens, Trebah,

Trebah Garden

Located in Mawnan Smith (near Falmouth) Trebah is a beautiful valley garden on the coast, boasting its own private beach as well as several walkways leading the four miles through the many plants, flowers and trees. You can check out the Trebah Garden website for more information including a map, and admission prices.

As well as the garden and beach, there is also Trebah Kitchen, where you can grab something hot or cold to eat and drink, (in the summer there is also The Boathouse cafe on the beach) as well as two gift shops (and a plant shop which is also closed in the winter months). We also noticed there are two play areas, suitable for younger and older children, and that dogs on a lead are welcome.

It could be a little hilly and uneven for people who struggle walking, though there are wheelchair routes shown on the map provided.

Our Day:Cornwall, Days Out, Walks, Gardens, Trebah,We arrived around midday to find ample parking, it was fairly busy, though walking around was still a peaceful experience. We were greeted in the reception area, where we purchased our tickets (prices are seasonal so you pay more to visit in Summer months, we paid £5 each to visit in January and our ticket remained valid for one week so we could have visited again during that time.) We were then given a map, and a printout telling us particular plants of seasonal interest, to look out for on our walk.

We were informed that the only facilities were located in this main building, as well as the cafe and gift shops.

We stopped to have a cup of tea and some cake (because this is a blog post and I felt I had to provide the information!) There was plenty of choice of hot and cold food and the cafe had a pleasant atmosphere. There is a seating area to one side for people visiting with dogs.We then set off, walking around, there is a lot to see from Champion Trees and flowersTwo ponds, one with a monster! And my personal favourite, the water garden! We then headed down to check out the beach Walked around the “Bamboozle” And there’s even a chance to find a little Dalek to keep those of us who need a daily dose of nerdiness happy!

There is of course so much more to see, and we have already said we would like to visit again when there is a little more colour in the garden. Overall we stayed just over three and a half hours, and had a great time. It was a perfect wintery day out! 

The content in this post is purely my opinion, based on my personal experience,

and has not been sponsored in any way.

Happy New Year – 2018

So it’s a whole new year, a whole new to-do list and a time for resolutions (cue all the “New Year-new me” posts everywhere!)

I make no such promises, they are so easily broken, we don’t know what the year will bring yet!

Hopefully everyone has had a lovely Christmas, and some at least are still vegging with the last of the snacks still hiding in the cupboards. (Please don’t say it’s just me! Haha!)

So, no resolutions, though I am however hoping to get lots of projects finished, to begin some new ones and to continue blogging (maybe a little more frequently!) one such new project is #1YearOfStitches over on Instagram (Kay_At_Home if you fancy a follow!) where I shall add some stitches every day to one hoop of fabric- unlike many taking part, making it a little more “me” by cross-stitching my year! I’ll be posting a photo a day on Instagram so everyone can follow my progress, and I’ll do a post here once a month to share on the blog too!

So it begins!

I shall of course also continue with #CraftBlogClub over on Twitter with its usual runs of weekly chats, challenges and general good times! We welcome all crafty blogger types to join in on Tuesday evenings, so do follow the # and @CraftBlogClub to keep track of what’s going on and when.

There will hopefully be some new things coming up on the blog too which I’m quite excited about, as well as the usual handmade goodness I have been creating and sharing!

For now, I will leave it there, wish you all a very happy new year, and I hope it’s a prosperous one for us all!

Stocking Bauble – How I Made Them

One of my favourite free gift projects, from a back issue of Cross-Stitcher magazine (I think, I could look it up if necessary!) were these stocking baubles. I love them so much I often make them as gifts, as they are really easy to personalise, and incredibly quick to make!So how do I make them?

You will need:

  • Aida or similar fabric for sewing/embroidering onto
  • Backing fabric (I use felt)
  • Threads for decorating your bauble front/making hanging loop
  • Needle
  • Scissors
  • Something to stuff your bauble with, wadding, old cushion foam or cotton wool.
  • Optional other items for decorating such as ribbon/buttons/bells/pom poms

Step one – Cut out your fabric pieces to a stocking shape at the desired size, there are plenty of printables available online, or alternatively you can free-hand draw and cut them out, I tend to cut my backing ever-so slightly larger than the aida.

Step 2 – Sew your design onto the aida/front piece of fabric. You can get creative here, personalise with a name, or event, go modern or traditional or add buttons or beads as desired.Steps 3/4 – Using blanket stitch, sew the two pieces of fabric together, this is easier if you start inside-out and turn in with one open edge (usually the top is easiest) add your stuffing until you are happy with the shape, and close the top with more blanket stitch.
Finally thread a loop through the top corner to hang your ornament. Alternatively sew a piece of looped ribbon to the top corner. Embellish as you wish.

I think at this point (counting this year), I have made almost ten of these!

Do you have handmade decorations for Christmas?

Check out some other festive posts here:

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Last Minute Knits

Ever have one of those moments in December, you receive an unexpected gift, and now you need to panic buy a return present, when you really don’t want to go into town?

Panic not. how about a quick knit!

There are many free, quick patterns out there, for mittens, fingerless gloves, scarves and neck warmers! And they can be fantastic if you are anything like me, and have lots of random yarn stashed away… just in case!

I have a few random balls of different yarn, and I resolved last month to use up some of it by making cute neck warmers! I knit both of these on 10mm needles (feel free to use smaller, I am a fan of chunky knits on large needles!) and used up two balls of random pretty stash:

This gorgeous dark green chunky velvet yarn, has been in my stash for ages, it’s SO soft, and cosy, the current button is a little too “fun” and I hope to find something a little simpler, then this will be perfect for the christmas and new year party season!

Simply knit  to the desired length and fastened at two corners with a button!

Time to make: 1 hour.


I absolutely loved this yarn, a mix of greens and gold, it’s got a lovely stretch to it, and slips over my head for a quick fun accessory, I’ve worn this a couple of times already and it’s great as it’s a little milder at the moment and a scarf is a bit too much.

Simply knit to the desired length, and both ends stitched together to form a tube.

Time to make: 45 minutes.

Finally got around to taking a pic wearing it!

So just two quick project ideas, great for gifts or just to add to your wardrobe!

Have you got any quick or stash busting go-to projects?

Check out some other wintery posts here:

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