Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Christmas Stitching + Busy in France

My last week has been a strange mixture of travel, illness, a ball and settling into the alpine French town that will be my home for the next four months! I really love this country, even if my grasp of the language only extends as far as 'Salut, ca va?' (Hi, how are you?). At the moment I'm taking an hour or two of French lesson a day, hopefully it will sink in.

Among it all Calm Waters has been sidelined for a bit to do some Christmas stitching which I can only give you a small peek of right now. The aida really isn't my favourite thing in the world, but a compact ready-brought kit was far easier to travel with than anything else. 

I can't resist sharing the current view from my window with you. I love the buildings here. And yes that is a mid-winter sky, a benefit of living in the Alps (unfortunately it also means that the weather could turn at any second and we'll be down to -15). 

Happy thanksgiving for those of you stateside, and happy stitching everyone else!

That's all for now,


Thursday, November 10, 2011

Hello from Wales!

So I'm safely in the UK after almost two days in the air and half a week to recover from jetlag. It's nice to be able to relax, I've been making plenty of progress on Calm Waters. Earlier in the week I managed to get out and explore the small Welsh town I'm staying in at the moment and see some of the shops. Man I wish New Zealand had WH Smiths! (seriously, books are so much cheaper in the UK). I thought I'd show you just how pretty the town is. These photos aren't taken by me, because the day I explored was a bit grey and not the best photo taking weather. 

In the town centre. Oh I love the old buildings and narrow streets, you just don't get that in New Zealand. Img source.

That castle on the left is where our wedding reception is going to be. Yes, in a castle! Isn't that cool? Img source.

As far as craftyness goes I can finally show off my attempt at bath salt making. I made this batch agggeeesss ago now, but couldn't show you because it was a little gift for someone special.

I used the tutorial here. This batch was Lily and Jasmine scented and smelled lovely. It was so easy to make and even the more unusual ingredients were easy to find (I got plain epsom salts from the local bulk food store, and glycerin from the chemist) – I would totally recommend it for a sweet last minute Christmas gift.

That's all for now, hope everyone's having a great week!


Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Crafty Survival

Last few days in New Zealand! I've been busy doing a lot of paperwork this week, but it's time to start thinking about packing. Of course, I started with my 'craft survival kit.' I can't take a lot, because I don't have a lot of luggage space for over four months worth of stuff! Unfortunately, clothes and Christmas gifts probably have to have priority :P 

After a bit of digging as to what I was allowed, I've decided to take some knitting in my carry-on, just a WIP cable scarf that's been around for far to long. I'm taking precautions – plastic, blunt needles with a safety line of contrasting yarn to hold the stitches in place if they get confiscated. The pair of needles above are my spares, just in case! There's also crochet hooks, some needles in a scrap of felt, interfacing, a ball of cotton yarn, supplies for cross stitch Christmas cards and a half kitted out CCN pattern (half kitted out because I only have half the threads). My Calm Waters WIP will also be going in, of course! I think I've covered all the bases. . . what do you think? 

I got a treat in the mail this week! I won this lovely book from Sew Mama Sew. There's so many inspiring patterns in here, I can't wait to try some of them! Unfortunately, that won't be til I get back. 

My baking must be improving, because I've had several requests in this last week at home! Tonight I thought I'd try something different though, so went for a delicious looking Chocolate and Cherry Bread from the Pastry Affair. This is straight out of the oven and cooling as we speak, so I can't tell you how it tastes yet. I'll let you know next post!

Have a great week everyone, next time you hear from me I'll probably be blogging from the other side of the world