Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Coffee Cozy


I've been a bit under the weather lately, but I still have lots to show you. I've been enjoying some machine sewing. Sewing is something I have never really got to grips with and so have never liked, but altering altering some jeans last week I thought I'd make an effort. I really need a blind for my bathroom and have been procrastinating about it since February. Now with the darker nights returning, I need to do it. It's bad enough I have to look at my neighbours blurry naked silhouette, I don't want to be inflicting it on others! So in the spirit of neighbourliness I decided to acquire some skills. So I got this little book from my local library.














Some scrap fabric and a couple of hours later and I produced this lovely cafetiere cozy.





No more lukewarm coffee for me (not as quickly anyway). This book is very handy and there are a couple of other warm-up projects in here I have my eye on. I like the thick pages, and the little wallet at the back to put the patterns in. It feels like it would stand up to a good deal of wear and tear. The book is divided into sections for different rooms of the home.The supplies list, cutting list, and instructions are all clearly separated, and the instructions have nice, clear photos, which is very useful to someone as useless as me.

Andrea James

Andrea is a compulsive crafter, bibliophile, and knitwear designer from small town UK. She loves ridiculous sweaters and vintage knitting patterns. She currently lives with her teenage daughter, three cats and an elderly guinea pig, and is usually found squashed into a corner of the sofa surrounded by yarn and books.

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

WIP Wednesday #6


 

Today you find me in a mixed mood after having a lot of ups and downs this week. On the upside, I fixed my own toilet and finally got my wedding ring off after separating from my husband in January. I spent a lovely day yesterday with some lovely friends in their new home, being pampered with coffees, lunch, and dinner. No cooking for me at all yesterday. Today I’ve sold a rabbit run that was surplus to requirements, so hopefully I’ll be able to get my hair cut this weekend. I also got around to mowing the back lawn! On the downside, there is something wrong with my car (again), the hot tap in my bathroom has seized up, and my boiler needs fixing. Ho hum!

This afternoon I shall be chilling with my Betty Mouat sweater, while watching the finale of Falling Skies, after spending a lazy time in the garden and wasting too much time on facebook!

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Don’t forget to check out some other WIP’s over at Tami's Amis blog

Andrea James

Andrea is a compulsive crafter, bibliophile, and knitwear designer from small town UK. She loves ridiculous sweaters and vintage knitting patterns. She currently lives with her teenage daughter, three cats and an elderly guinea pig, and is usually found squashed into a corner of the sofa surrounded by yarn and books.

Friday, 2 August 2013

Juice Fast–Day 5


So I managed to survive this far. It’s been touch-and-go on a few occasions though. I feel crappy. Days 2 and 3 were ok, although I was ludicrously hungry on both days with a severe headache. I have had to eat a light supper every night. On day 2 I had some plain rice, curried rice and prawns. Day 3 was my daughters birthday and I had a small portion of fish and chips in the pub. Yesterday (day 4) and today have been horrible. I am no longer hungry, I just have a constant gnawing pain in the pit of my stomach. I’m tired, nauseous, confused and tearful. I feel spaced out and slightly dizzy. Up until yesterday I had also not lost any weight, although I did lose an inch from my hips and waist. This morning I appear to have lost a pound. I am meant to be carrying on for another 11 days, juicing 4 times a day and eating two meals, but frankly if I see another glass of juice I shall probably vomit or cry, or both. It really isn’t worth it, I would rather be slightly overweight than be this hungry again.

Part 1
Andrea James

Andrea is a compulsive crafter, bibliophile, and knitwear designer from small town UK. She loves ridiculous sweaters and vintage knitting patterns. She currently lives with her teenage daughter, three cats and an elderly guinea pig, and is usually found squashed into a corner of the sofa surrounded by yarn and books.

Wednesday, 31 July 2013

WIP Wednesday #5


 

I finally finished the ginormous cardigan and returned it to it’s rightful owner! An important lesson has been learnt here – never take on a big commission again. It really reminded me of the old days working for the yarn companies when I was expected to churn out huge mens sweaters to ridiculous deadlines for very little pay. At least I got paid a fair amount for knitting the ginormous cardigan. Never again though.

So this week has been quite exciting as I’ve worked on some projects that hadn’t been out in a couple of months, due to cardigan-related guilt. I found a couple of knitted creatures in various states of progress. One of them I finished completely (photo on Friday). Two of them are loitering on the bookshelf, not quite finished.

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This little teddy bear guy has no eyes. I tried to embroider his eyes, but was not happy with the result. They were too small and he looked too much like a cat. He shall sit here until I finish pondering.

 

 

 

 

 

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This cat has no ears. I found all the pieces of cat in the bottom of one of my canvas knitting-on-the-go bags, but when I made him up I realised I had neglected to knit him any ears. He is sitting patiently with teddy.

 

 

 

 

 

I also decided to reward myself by starting my long-awaited Betty Mouat sweater by Kate Davies. I’m using Artesano 100% alpaca. I’ve already managed to muck up the first cockleshell repeat, and I have no intention of redoing it. I’m such a rebel!

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This post is part of WIP Wednesday over on Tami's Amis. Hop over and check it out!

Andrea James

Andrea is a compulsive crafter, bibliophile, and knitwear designer from small town UK. She loves ridiculous sweaters and vintage knitting patterns. She currently lives with her teenage daughter, three cats and an elderly guinea pig, and is usually found squashed into a corner of the sofa surrounded by yarn and books.

Monday, 22 July 2013

Juice Fasting


13 years ago, I gave up work and had my third and final baby. Happy though I was, I piled on the pounds. Here is not the place to confess my previous weight. I took the bull by the horns, joined Slimming World, got a dog, and after 6 months I managed to get my weight down to around 11 stone. My goal weight was 10 stone, but I plateaued and after another 3 months I got discouraged and gave up. Then I started home educating, and suddenly I had no free time! My morning jog with the dog went first, and gradually I moved around less and snacked more. I put over a stone back on. In the last 5 years I have tried, to no avail, to get rid of the this extra stone and lose the original stone to get to my goal weight of 10 stone. It never works. I get to 11 stone 2lb EVERY TIME and then my weight loss stops. I get discouraged and bored, and my weight creeps back up again.
A few people have said to me, “maybe 11 stone 2lb is your body’s ideal weight/natural weight/set point. Your not that fat, you don’t need to lose weight. Just accept it.” NO! If this were true, then why did my natural weight used to be 10 stone? I was 10 stone until I turned 27, and this is the weight I felt comfortable and confident at. Why am I not naturally this weight anymore? My perception of my weight is more important than your perception of my weight, and I refuse to accept it.
But I was tired of menu planning, and calorie counting, and restricting what I ate. So in January I started the 5:2 fast diet.  
The 5:2 Diet Book: Feast for 5 Days a Week and Fast for 2 to Lose Weight, Boost Your Brain and Transform Your Health

When I started I was around the 12 stone mark (again). After steadily losing 1lb a week for four months I was – you guessed – 11 stone 2lb. Don’t get me wrong, it came off nice and easily, I had more energy than I’d had with other diets, and my body seemed to have remodelled itself slightly. My permanent muffin top was gone. Great! But here I am again, stuck at 11 stone 2lb. Some weeks I gain a couple of pounds, the following week I lose them again. So at the beginning of June I bought The Gabriel Method.
The Gabriel Method: The Revolutionary DIET-FREE Way to Totally Transform Your Body
What a fantastic book! My weight loss problems suddenly made complete sense! It completely explained why I keep getting stuck. So I downloaded Jon Gabriel’s evening meditation, and I’ve listened to it every night for a month. Jon suggests adding in some extra protein and omega 3 to your diet, which I’ve incorporated. I stopped weighing myself every day. I started juicing at breakfast, and on my fast days to cram in extra nutrients. This book has really helped shift my attitude towards food. I’m definitely eating healthier without really trying.
Now the weather is hot though, I just don’t wanna eat, and don’t wanna cook! I’m also feeling sluggish, like I need a good detox, something I used to do regularly, but haven’t embraced for over a decade. I would also like to see if I can break through the 11 stone 2lb barrier. Today is the 1st day of my 14 day juice ‘fast’. It is not a fast in the strictest sense of the word, as I’m not bonkers enough to enjoy drinking juice for 14 days straight. I’ve cobbled together my own plan from the book ‘Juicing for Life’.
Juicing for Life: A Guide to the Benefits of Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Juicing
I’m juicing 6 times a day for the first 5 days and allowing myself a light supper in the evening if I feel I need it. Then I’ll try and do another 11 days juicing 4 times a day, with a normal breakfast and dinner. I’m also going to weigh myself every morning, just for the sake of curiousity.
Starting weight on the dodgy bathroom scales: 11 stone 6lb.
I’ve gained 4lb since the beginning of June. The first day has been ok, with the exception of having green pee, which apparently isn’t that unusual. I had a small portion of homemade lasagne at dinner time – I am ridiculously hungry, yet feel simultaneously nauseous. Also I have a headache and I’m tired. Pretty much what I expected from my first day, so okay so far.

Part 2
Andrea James

Andrea is a compulsive crafter, bibliophile, and knitwear designer from small town UK. She loves ridiculous sweaters and vintage knitting patterns. She currently lives with her teenage daughter, three cats and an elderly guinea pig, and is usually found squashed into a corner of the sofa surrounded by yarn and books.

Sunday, 21 July 2013

Calling all bold, boisterous bohemian souls!


 

Marney Makridakis from ArtellaLand.com is presenting an all-new, soulfully whimsical FREE teleworkshop happening on Wednesday, July 24: "Creations, Completions, and Cupids Falling in Love with Your Unfinished Projects!" Play with creative games and activities to identify and be inspired by the next steps to bring your creative dreams forward.  I can’t wait to get started! I’ll try and share some of my progress over the coming days, feel free to join in and link to your blog in the comments! 

Get info here!

Andrea James

Andrea is a compulsive crafter, bibliophile, and knitwear designer from small town UK. She loves ridiculous sweaters and vintage knitting patterns. She currently lives with her teenage daughter, three cats and an elderly guinea pig, and is usually found squashed into a corner of the sofa surrounded by yarn and books.

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Work Du Soleil Part Trois!


I love this!  All bold, boisterous bohemian souls are invited to a FREE soulfully whimsical experience: ~Work du Soleil~ Part Trois: The Mission Paintment Party, a playful and practical free workshop for anyone who has ever dreamed of earning money doing what you love, while also being what you love. Learn to discover, create, and even ~paint~ your creative mission!

http://www.artellaland.com/affiliates/jrox.php?id=1636_1_tlid_78

Andrea James

Andrea is a compulsive crafter, bibliophile, and knitwear designer from small town UK. She loves ridiculous sweaters and vintage knitting patterns. She currently lives with her teenage daughter, three cats and an elderly guinea pig, and is usually found squashed into a corner of the sofa surrounded by yarn and books.

Friday, 19 April 2013

FO Friday #5 Snork Maiden


 

Thought I’d share a picture of this lovely little snork maiden I made for my Number 1 son’s girlfriend, at his request.

snork maiden

She is about 6” tall and is crocheted in King Cole Snuggly, so she is very soft. She also likes to admire the garden and particularly likes primulas.

You can make your very own snork maiden by downloading this spiffing free pattern here: http://samigurumi.wordpress.com/2011/12/04/amigurumi-moomintroll-free-pattern-woo-yeah-free/

Find more yummy craft over at Tami's Amis blog

Andrea James

Andrea is a compulsive crafter, bibliophile, and knitwear designer from small town UK. She loves ridiculous sweaters and vintage knitting patterns. She currently lives with her teenage daughter, three cats and an elderly guinea pig, and is usually found squashed into a corner of the sofa surrounded by yarn and books.

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

WIP Wednesday #4


 

A horse cushion. Yep, that’s what this weeks WIP is. Not my usual kind of territory really. Thought I’d try something new. I need a rug for the lounge to hide a nasty mark on the laminate floor, and I thought maybe making a latch hook rug would be a good way to use up some wool scraps and a big piece of sack cloth I aquired. Problem: I don’t know how to latch hook! So I bought this cushion kit in the Hobbycraft sale, purely so I could teach myself. I’m actually quite pleased with the way this is turning out, and it is good fun!

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I’m still not sure I want this on my sofa when it’s finished though. I may put it up for sale, I haven’t decided yet. Any opinions?

You can find lots more WIP Wednesday loveliness over at Tami's Amis.

Andrea James

Andrea is a compulsive crafter, bibliophile, and knitwear designer from small town UK. She loves ridiculous sweaters and vintage knitting patterns. She currently lives with her teenage daughter, three cats and an elderly guinea pig, and is usually found squashed into a corner of the sofa surrounded by yarn and books.

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

WIP Wednesday #3


 

Got lots of WIP's to share over the coming weeks! I've been a busy bunny. Not quite so many finishes for Fridays though ;)

This week I'm sharing a pretty macabre picture of some piees of teddy bear that are waiting to be sewn together and bought to life. This is something I've been meaning to make for ages. I had an idea in my head to write up a pattern for a traditional style bear, only knitted. Eventually he'll be jointed and I'm thinking I might knit him a little sweater too. If I'm happy with it, then I'll carry on making them. I may also one day manage to make a .pdf pattern for Ravelry. It's difficult writing a pattern that someone other than me can understand, and it's been a lot of years since I last did it. I suspect that I'd also have to lock myself in a cupboard to get enough quiet time to finish it too.

Don’t forget to pop over to Tami's Amis blog to see more wonderful WIP’s!

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Andrea James

Andrea is a compulsive crafter, bibliophile, and knitwear designer from small town UK. She loves ridiculous sweaters and vintage knitting patterns. She currently lives with her teenage daughter, three cats and an elderly guinea pig, and is usually found squashed into a corner of the sofa surrounded by yarn and books.

Sunday, 24 March 2013

A little inspiration on a snowy day...


Andrea James

Andrea is a compulsive crafter, bibliophile, and knitwear designer from small town UK. She loves ridiculous sweaters and vintage knitting patterns. She currently lives with her teenage daughter, three cats and an elderly guinea pig, and is usually found squashed into a corner of the sofa surrounded by yarn and books.

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

The first WIP Wednesday of 2013!


A little green Moomin is in progress this week, a custom request for a friend of a friend. I’m glad I learnt to crochet, but I much prefer knitting I’m afraid. I’m getting a little fed up of crochet toys and can’t wait to get started on some more knitting! Hopefully there will be a picture of this sewn up by Friday so I can move on.

Andrea James

Andrea is a compulsive crafter, bibliophile, and knitwear designer from small town UK. She loves ridiculous sweaters and vintage knitting patterns. She currently lives with her teenage daughter, three cats and an elderly guinea pig, and is usually found squashed into a corner of the sofa surrounded by yarn and books.