Friday 27 February 2009

book love

I've had this wonderful book out from the library for several months now - every three weeks when it's due back I renew it, and savour the wonderful images for just a little longer.

The stunning photographs are by Norweigan photographer Solvi dos Santos, and the text by Henrietta Thompson.

The blurb on the inside cover reads:

The most interesting - and almost always the most genuinely appealing - interiors reflect the choices of the people who actually live in them. The spaces in this book may have been gutted or rebuilt, adapted or little changed, or even just redecorated, but they were not produced with high budgets or under the watchful gaze of interior designers. They express the true simplicity that everyone can find by repairing, refurbishing, adapting and recycling what they have available and what they love. This is a refreshing, resourceful - and often more eco-conscious - approach to living.

And that really sums up my approach to my home. I like mixing old with new, and have a slightly pared down look with a contemporary feel.

And there's always room for another collection of pebbles.....
little still lifes of 'found objects'.

Sunday 22 February 2009

scenes from a walk

A week of mild and sometimes sunny weather has beckoned me outside for longer walks. This isn't a hardship - I love being outside, and soak up the treasures of my local landscape like a sponge.

Yesterday I was up on the moor again, barely a soul in sight. The sea on both the north and south coast visible in the distance.

The derelict engine house of Green Burrow Mine an austere shape against the backdrop of dark clouds (it wasn't really quite as gloomy as it appears!).

Walter, as always, managed a dip and a wallow in the stream....

And on a sock note - thank you for all the encouragement. Sock one was completed this afternoon, with a big learning curve and quite a few mistakes. I found a great tutorial showing kitchener stitch (and everything else) here. Now for number two, before I develop second sock syndrome...

Wednesday 18 February 2009

seduced by a sock

I have been completely seduced by knitting my first sock. I'm three quarters of the way through, now working on the rounds before the toe decreases. It's been a challenge, with the odd mistake, but I can see now how it all comes together.

I've compared notes with Pipany, and had much-needed guidance at my knitting group.

I'm using an easy sock pattern by Opal (kindly emailed to me by Sally Anne) and 3mm dpns with Regia Kaffe Fassett yarn in Landscape Storm.

I'm hoping sock number two will be an improvement - no 'ladders' at the join between one dpn and the next, and better shaping when I turn the heel.

I can see how one pair will lead to the next...and the next.....and the next....

And I've also fallen for this song. Love the video too - especially that beautiful nearly empty house. And the lighting.

Sunday 15 February 2009

chasing rainbows

I was tagged ages ago by Claire at Nimblejacks, Kim at Heart in the Country and Willow at Contemplating Change for the six things meme, and then by Frogdancer at Dancing with Frogs, for six things that make me happy. I have to confess I'm not a fan of memes, so it always takes me ages to respond. Sorry! As I've already done a couple of six thingys before I'm going on the happiness theme.

Happiness is a state of mind, and I do believe we choose how we feel....I'm a bottle-half-full kind of person and am optimistic by nature. It takes a lot to really knock me sideways. So, my list...

:: spending some time outside, in nature, every day, come rain or shine - usually going for a walk

:: living by the sea, and seeing how it changes every second of the day

:: eating and and eating....I love food!

:: anything to do with Walter - walking, snuggling up, playing. That boy brings a huge smile to my face!

:: solitude - time on my own is essential for me

:: and currently, I have to say knitting! A bit of a surprise for me, but it makes me really happy - lovely wool, the click of needles, trying to master a new skill, and feeling like I'm making progress. Currently, my first sock is on the needles.

So's the simple things for me - and that list is just a wee one, so many other things make me happy: friends, family, creating, reading...and so it goes on!

This week I was lucky enough to squeeze in a walk on the Towans, over near Godrevy Lighthouse on the north coast. A beautiful bright day with glimpses of sunshine, and a hint of a rainbow.

Ali, this one's for you. And may there be many more.

Sunday 8 February 2009

design classics

Did you catch these stamps? Ten stamps depicting British design classics. I love them - especially the routemaster bus.

I am known in my little neighbourhood post office for always asking for 'stamps with pictures' - well, they brighten up the mail don't you think?

Thursday 5 February 2009

round and round

I feel like I'm going round and round in circles at the moment, never quite reaching my destination. Lack of focus on the one hand, head buzzing with ideas on the other. The relief of successfully reaching my tax deadline has led to a slump this week, and that's ok really. A little pause, several deep breaths, and then hopefully a sense of renewal.

So in the vein of still going round and round, I finished this neckwarmer last week, and have been wearing it non stop. I also knitted a chunkier version in this wool, as a present. And now I've been asked to knit a 'male' version. I'm just going to wing this in a chunky rib. The wool arrived this morning. And how beautifully soft and silky it is. It came from Dragon Yarns, whose service is exemplary.

I love the varying shades of grey and the thick-and-thin yarn.

So I shall just carry on going round and round....with a soothing, meditative repetition.

* * *

On a blog note - what do you think of the new template? I wanted a more contemporary feel, and a white background for my photographs. I might tweak a few more things. Does anyone know how I can get rid of all the underlining in my sidebar? I can't work that one out....

Tuesday 3 February 2009

snow play

Just playing!

Monday 2 February 2009

let it snow!

On my way to work at 9.15 this morning

And at lunchtime

It was a heart-in-my-mouth, hands-clenched-round-the-steering-wheel kind of drive home

Only a few miles...and home was all blue skies and sunshine, with my snow-covered car getting funny looks

But the snow's made it here too now


Sunday 1 February 2009

mixed blessings

Back home again, and Cornwall is turning distinctly chilly again. Could we have a sprinkling of snow this week? Please...I need the boost that a dusting of white would bring.

I'm feeling drained and exhausted after many miles in the car in the space of a few days, and the emotion of gathering with my family for my Uncle's funeral. He died so suddenly and unexpectedly - a blessing for him, but for my Aunt and cousins, an enormous shock and loss. And inevitably it reminded me of my Mum. But it is perhaps fortunate that we are a large family - the support that brings is so comforting. It is lovely to gather together, but I hope next time will be a happier occasion.

So home to face the dreaded tax return and accounts, something I have a habit of leaving to the very last minute, thus setting myself up for a stressful January. I can remember in days gone by when I lived in London I'd get a letter from my accountant in about June asking for my accounts so that 'we can proceed in a timely manner.....'. It never worked, and every year I say I'll do it differently.... and so far, haven't. So at precisely 8.13pm last night my return was filed, with only hours until the deadline. I need deadlines - being a terrible procrastinator, a deadline will always spur me into action. So now I can relax, feet up, and contemplate knitting socks. Except my head is full of cold and my throat sore, and I'm feeling a bit pathetic.

One of the positives about my unexpected trip was the chance to photograph my version of the purl scarf which I knitted for my niece, together with the boyfriend hat I knitted for my nephew Ben (with much trauma and dropped stitches and rows unravelling in front of my eyes).

I love this scarf, and am tempted to knit one for myself. The addition of the kidsilk haze makes it very soft, and adds a beautiful sheen.

And this is the hat. My very first hat. Knit with Mission Falls 1824 wool in Ink. It's lovely and soft and also machine washable which must be a bonus. I love the decreases and the symmetry. It was worth blocking, too - it helped even out the stitches and gave it a better shape.

And if you want to see a gorgeous stripey version, it's here.