Tuesday, August 14, 2012


...is not really one of my virtues.
Determination possibly is, which is why I’m able to knit for what seems like forever in order to create something, but waiting 5 minutes for a bus with nothing to do makes me crazy!

Anyway, I was impatient to decide what colour we’re going to paint the kitchen so I dragged hubby to Homebase last night before I went to knitting group.

The colours are (top to bottom, left to right)
B&Q – Rich Sari, Purple Purl, Berry Mid, Berry Dark
Homebase – Raspcoulis, Jazzberry
Habitat – Wine, Hibiscus
Homebase – Bubblegum

I’m fond of hibiscus; it’s not quite as bright as in the picture. Hopefully hubby and I can discuss it tonight and make a decision…

Monday, August 13, 2012

Bitten by the Home Decoration bug!

I’ve been feeling a bit down lately.
It’s the house.
I love our house, it’s spacious and has big windows. It has a good sized outdoor space and a garage with room for more than just a couple of bikes.
It’s really a good house.
It’s just the stuff inside, specifically the décor, that’s getting me down.

So, I’ve decided that something needs to be done.

In an effort to kick-start the whole process (which requires funding for some things) I’ve been identifying what I want to do in each room, and then I’m approaching them in order of how much difference the changes will make in correlation with how little they will cost.
So, a free thing which will make a big impact – that’s top of my list. An expensive thing which will only make a small or medium impact – that’s at the bottom.

So, with that in mind, at the weekend we went shopping. We actually went out to look at sofas (big cost, smaller impact) but the last thing we did before we came home was to pick up some new accessories for the bathroom.
The bathroom itself is done. It’s tiled in nice tiles, has a decent suite and floor, and a really posh radiator.
But I like colours, I like bold patterns and rooms which make you feel something when you walk in.
The bathroom didn’t do it for me.


(left to right, top to bottom) Cluttered windowsills, I already took down the shower curtain (nice, but not me) general mess and no pizazz!

But, changing the shower curtain, the soap dish and cups, new bath-mat and loo-mat, and moving some clutter into the cupboards (or bin) made a massive difference to how I feel about the room. In addition, these were things we needed anyway!


(left to right, top to bottom) Shower Curtain from Dunelm Mill, Marble Effect Soap Dish from Wilkinsons, Marble Effect Tumblers from Wilkinsons, and a Bath Mat and Pedestal set from Dunelm Mill

It wasn’t a “free” change, we did have to pay for the mats and such, but they weren’t very expensive and now we have two sets (our other set are white) which we can swap out when one needs washing.
Great stuff!

The next room I want to tackle is the kitchen.
This will be a low-cost high-impact change too.
At the moment we have a lovely kitchen, but the cupboards are painted duck-egg-blue. I’m not really a fan of that colour – certainly not as a “main” colour in a kitchen. Kitchens should be dynamic rooms, and they should feel dynamic in their colour schemes.

The kitchen is an L shape, with access into the kitchen at both ends of the L.
Kind of like this:


The plan is to re-paint all the cupboards a nice bold pink colour (the exact colour is yet to be agreed by hubby and myself) and having seen a great example of a bold kitchen while we were in France (hubby’s second cousins have great taste!) I also want to paint at least one wall lime green.
The current plan is for that wall to be the one at the same end as the doors into the garden, the one with no doors on – just a radiator.
Once I’ve done this I plan to fix up a mirror we have. It’s currently got a black surround which is a little chipped, and I think that with a coat of primer and a coat (or two) of the same pink as the cupboards, it could look amazing on that green feature wall!
Then, there’s the other wall. I’ve been thinking about this too, and also the lack of pin-boards in the kitchen. So at the other end of the L, the wall with the pantry door in it, I think that wall could also be green (might brighten up that end of the kitchen!) and on that wall I could put the big pin-board that hubby has.
However, I don’t want to put it up as-is! I want to paint the frame (pink again, of course) and then supplement the cork bit with some nice fabric, something which will still take pins, but that will look pretty.
Perhaps something like this:


I think that would be much nicer than a regular pin-board, and would work really well with a green wall and pink frame.

The final thing I want to do is to add a little more storage. We have loads of storage in the kitchen, but I’d like to add some kind of space for the ironing board. This could be as simple as some brackets on the wall to rest it behind, or could be a funky cupboard/unit thing.

Watch this space!

Thursday, August 09, 2012

Holiday Update - Holiday

We had a loveley holiday in France. The weather was great, the food was excellent, and the company was great.

My favourite village was Pujols, where they had some fantastic floral arrangements

Everywhere, from lamp-posts to street corners!

In Penne d'Agenais I found a really nice rose creeping up a house that matched my outfit for the day

and I had crêpe flambé!

But hubby had his with banana split...

And there were some lovely sunsets. This one is over the village where we were staying; Frespech.

Friday, August 03, 2012

Holiday Recap – Knitting Update

Wow, I have a lot to share today! So I’m going to split it between two posts. One will be about the most recent round of Nerd Wars, and will cover all the things I’ve knitted and crocheted last month. The other will be about my recent holiday to France, and that will come in a little while. So, Nerd Wars. I’m pleased to report that I melted the cube again this month (though I haven’t yet been awarded my badge for doing so, that usually happens around the 5th)

Giving GeeksScientificIntellectual
Giving Geeks T5R2teeny hat 2shawl
Geek PrideTechnicalNerd Culture
bookmark 2FetchingsHeart Cozy

So that’s six for six. Though the cup cosy was the smallest of the projects, it actually took a while! The bookmark was designed by me (my first ever crochet design) and needs to be made into a PDF before I can put it online. It’s tested though!

As well as all those challenge submissions, I also completed the first of two pairs of socks which I am knitting for the dissertation. The second pair, this month, is going to be a challenge.
I have to finish my Ravellenics shawl and some spinning before the end of the Olympics and I’m not sure that I’ll be casting on the socks until I’ve done the shawl at least.
Perhaps I need to revisit my plan…
But here they are: Illyria socks
Illyria Socks

While I was away I started the Versailles scarf, though I confess I haven’t got very far. This is partly because I got a few repeats into the pattern and decided that I needed to change it, so I frogged it. I might try to finish it for the WIP challenge in round three of Nerd Wars (which just began)
Once the Olympics started I was also able to start my shawl. I’m knitting it in handspun and it’s coming out really well so far! I think I’m probably about a third of the way through now, so I should be on track for completing it while the Olympics is still happening!