Monday, 29 May 2017

The new utility room

At the beginning of the year we moved into our new home.  We knew right from the start there were projects, but it was good enough to live in so we happily unpacked. 
One such project was making the little bike store at the front of the house bigger so 'im outdoors had somewhere for all his tools.  This became a priority once we realised the floor was rotten.


So over the last 4 months 'im outdoors has ripped out everything which was in the bike store/utility room/downstairs loo - including walls and the rotten floor, and then rebuilt it to our own specifications.  We've reused as much as we could, including cutting one of the old doors down to make a slim cupboard door.  Or we've looked for deals like the old belfast sink found on Gumtree.

Ready for the ready-mix lorry to unload
 'im outdoors has worked tirelessly - working evenings and weekends with me helping where I can - the painting and tiling is all mine! And today we finally finished it.
It is so amazing to have a space like this, where washing can be done and hung to dry without getting in the way and with the little downstairs loo nicely finished so we're not embarrassed when visitors need to use it. 
And once again 'im outdoors has impressed me with his ability to do everything himself, from plumbing and electrics to laying the floor and making me cupboards.


If you visit anytime soon, don't be surprised to be invited to view the new utility room and downstairs loo - I am so chuffed!

Sunday, 21 May 2017

The Rainbow Bag

Is 2002, before I had a blog (probably before I knew what a blog was) I saw someone somewhere with a rainbow bag and suddenly desired one for myself!

I can't remember quite why I decided to make it myself, but I was in the middle of my cross stitch phase and so this is what it was made from.  If I had mastered knitting at this point I probably would have knitted it.

I also can't remember how long it took me to make, but I do remember taking it to work with me and working on it in my lunch breaks. I believe this was also the end of my cross stitch phase!

My mum helped me to line it with nice thick material so that the light cross stitch material wouldn't get pulled out of shape.  My dad found an old seat belt to be used at the strap - nice and strong (I think it goes all the way round - making a strong bottom too).

Of course by the time it was done, my desire for such a bag had started to wain and I never really used it.  Maybe also because of all the work I had put into it, I didn't want to see it wrecked by too much use.

As we went through our stuff packing for the move I came across it again.  I'd pretty much forgotten the poor thing, but because it has sat in a cupboard for the last 10 years the colours are still as brilliant as when I created it.

14 years on, I've just started to think about cross stitch again (life is a wheel after all) so maybe it's appropriate that I found it again now.  Maybe I'll even start using it.  It is after all a lovely strong bag, and I do still like it, even after all this time.  
So now you know that massive projects are not something new for me.  If I had had the blog I would have blogged then, so it is only fair that I blog about it now.

Saturday, 13 May 2017

Fierce little dragon

I first came across the fierce little dragon pattern over 2 years ago.  But as a beginner crocheter it looked too complicated for me to make.  So I printed out the pattern and added it to my big folder of patterns and forgot about him.

But I have learnt much over the past 2 years and so it was time to have a go and make a dragon. And I surprised myself.  Most of the projects I've worked on have been flat so I wasn't sure how I would get on with a 3D pattern, but actually it was fine.  A bit more concentration needed for counting, but I think he came out really well.  His wings use a front post stitch which I've not tried before, but a couple of youtube videos and some practice and it was pretty easy.

 He's a little smaller than I thought he'd be, but that's ok.  He rather makes me think of Terry Pratchett's swamp dragons - small enough to light your cigar!
I used double knit special by Stylecraft in claret and black, which was great to use and feels nice.  And added a little detail to his eyes with some pretty green/blue cotton given me by 'im outdoors grandma.
I'm really pleased with how he's come out.  I just hope he doesn't start any fires! 

Sunday, 7 May 2017

Basingstoke 2017 5k

Today was my first race in a year.  It was the 5th edition of the Basingstoke 5k and my 5th attempt.
After leaving a job in London, where I worked for over a year, I've slowly been training back to an acceptable level of fitness (running to the office from Waterloo and back most days kept me running but there was too much sitting to really be fit). So I wasn't really sure where I would come on todays race.

I was delighted to finish with a time of 25:40, coming 112 over all and 18th female!  It just shows that the training is worth it.  With this reassurance I can start to think about improving my 10k time.