Terrific Tuesday

Tags

, ,

On a Monday I can still remember the fun I had over the weekend, Wednesday is the middle of the work week, on Thursday I start getting hopeful and on a Friday I can taste the weekend. But what about a Tuesday? It’s so…. just there. Weekend memories are too far away and the upcoming weekend might as well be a year away.

What we need is a bit of colourful inspiration to get us going on a Tuesday, don’t you think? A pretty picture, beautiful scenery or colourful imagery. Yup, that’ll liven up Tuesdays and turn it into a terrific day!

From now on I will go through my photos and Pinterest likes every Tuesday and find us a pretty picture to add colour and joy to the day.

xxxxxx

Barrow Wake viewpoint

This is Barrow Wake viewpoint in Gloucester which we passed on our way home from Malvern Hills on Sunday. Mother Nature at her best.

Wishing you all a Terrific Tuesday.

Natasja

About these ads

First time campers

Tags

,

I have been waiting more than six months to write this blog post so you can imagine how excited and happy I am to be able to finally share with you my great news: John and I are the proud owners of a fully kitted out custom-built brand new campervan!!!! We call him Ivan. It’s actually iVan because the owner of company who did the retrofit, said the inside of the van looks like an iPod because of all the white, hence iVan which became Ivan.

IMG_7685

Do you want to know a bit more about Ivan? I thought you would, so my list making, bullet point loving, timeline thinking kind of brain is going to set out the sequence of events like I do the nitty gritty of my crochet projects:

  • 12 January 2014 – Ordered a Vauxhall Vivaro SWB Diesel 2.0 CDTi Sportive 2.7t Techshift Euro 5 van. Automatic, with cruise control and short wheel base.
  • 30 April 2014 -  Vauxhall delivered the van to CC Campers in Kidderminster to be converted from a regular van to a campervan. This included:
    • A layout where the front two seats swivel round. The front seats and the back seats then fold down to form two single beds or one double bed, leaving us with a galley kitchen in the back.
    • a Pop Top Elevating Roof. The elevation is at the back, where the kitchen is, so that we can stand in the kitchen and cook.
    • side privacy windows and curtains (The windows are not tinted yet, but they will be soon.)
    • insulation, floor and carpet lining at the back of van with lighting
    • microwave
    • power distribution unit
    • Thetford Porta Potti Qube chemical toilet
  • 25 July 2014 – Made the 4 hour train journey to Kidderminster to collect our Van with a huge suitcase filled with kitchen basics, clothes and a vacuum pack bag of bedding:  four cushions, the quilt my mom gave us for our wedding, a picnic blanket and towels all fitted into our suitcase (vacuum pack bags are so handy!).
  • 25 July to 27 July 2014 - Inaugural camping weekend at The Caravan Club’s  Malvern Hills Camp Site.

As you can see this van has been a very long time coming, so we were super happy to finally see it. The Vauxhall factory delivered it straight to the CC Campers so even though we bought it in January, we only received the keys to our van in July. It was a great moment and the start of great things for the Kings.

IMG_7687

It was totally worth the wait, and putting our trust in CC Campers was justified. We love every thing about our van. Christian did the most amazing job delivering a campervan with great attention to detail, high quality finishing and very practical.

We’ve only slept in our van for twice, but it was goooood. The layout really works for us. John can stay in bed while I scoot on over to the kitchen to make tea in the kitchen which wouldn’t be possible with the traditional campervan layout with “rock ‘n roll bed“. Our first night was a bit awkward because we left the pop top roof open which made it very cold inside. Saturday night was much better and more comfortable because we closed the pop top roof and took down the foam mattress to put on top of our seat-bed. Much better indeed.

I just adore our lime green Outwell collapsible kettle. The green section is silicone which just folds in on itself when you are ready to hit the road. It takes up no space at all. I’m also going to buy the collapsable mixing bowl.  Green of course. The colour scheme for Ivan is grey and lime green. (We might be camping, but we can do it according to a colour palette).

IMG_7694

This is Ivan parked on his pitch at Malvern Hills Camp Site.

Vivaro campervan

Having never once in our lives camped, not even as day visitors, seeing the well organised and well equipped site office was a real treat for us. For regular campers this may be nothing special, but for is it was nice to know that we can pop on over to buy a bread and eggs, and borrow a rubber hammer (which we did).

IMG_7723

Here’s John demonstrating how we cook in the campervan. We had to park our van with the back facing the road so that we could reach the electric point. Under normal circumstances we would not want to be on show like this. Not that fellow campers made a big thing of being able to see into our van. Camping Folk are really very private and everyone feels like we do: we will acknowledge a neighbour or passer-by, but want to be left alone for the most part.

IMG_7710

The view from our campervan overlooking the Malvern Hills Camp Site. It may seem that there are a lot of caravans, but somehow it didn’t feel busy. For us as newbies when we drove in and saw all of these we thought “Oh man. This is going to be noisy and cramped!” but it wasn’t. The kids on site was very well-behaved, the dogs well-behaved, the adults quiet and curtious. The site as a whole is extremely well maintained and the toilet blocks very clean. Malven Hills Camp Site was a great choice for our very first campsite experience.

IMG_7706

Gammon and egg on our first morning. Served on crocheted placemats of course. We’re eating out of disposable plastic plates with plastic knives and forks, but we’re not animals!

IMG_7722

Speaking of crochet. I didn’t do any! I kid you not. I had three crochet projects with me thinking I may run out of projects because of all the time I’ll have to crochet, but all I did all weekend was read and enjoy nature, which included a 1.5 mile walk to Hanley Swan.

The one thing that stands out for me from this weekend, apart of course the fact that I am super happy with our campervan and know we will be spending a LOT of time camping, is that camping is so utterly relaxing. John said I was a different person at the camp site. I know why. It’s because I can’t rush anything. It’s impossible to do anything quickly when the biggest gas burner is the size of the smallest one in your home kitchen, when you can’t wash the dishes while something is cooking because you may burn yourself, you can’t wipe the counter top while something is cooking because you may burn yourself, you have to bend down awkwardly to get the plates under the cooker and be careful when you get up to not switch on the microwave with your bum. Living in a small space forces you to s  l   o   w  down and just take it easy. Once you embrace it and learn to chill out, the days feel like weeks, time stands still and you learn to live in, and enjoy, the moment.

Brace yourself readers, you will be seeing a lot more than just crochet on this blog from now on. I may not have done any crochet on our first camping weekend, but my head is full of ideas for crochet things to improve camp life and storage in the campervan. Patterns and projects will follow very soon.

If any of my readers are Camping Folk, I’d love to hear from you with suggestions of good sites, tips, etc.

Terrific Tuesday

Tags

, , ,

On a Monday I can still remember the fun I had over the weekend, Wednesday is the middle of the work week, on Thursday I start getting hopeful and on a Friday I can taste the weekend. But what about a Tuesday? It’s so…. just there. Weekend memories are too far away and the upcoming weekend might as well be a year away.

What we need is a bit of colourful inspiration to get us going on a Tuesday, don’t you think? A pretty picture, beautiful scenery or colourful imagery. Yup, that’ll liven up Tuesdays and turn it into a terrific day!

From now on I will go through my photos and Pinterest likes every Tuesday and find us a pretty picture to add colour and joy to the day.

xxxxxx

pink yarn crochet bunting

A friend of the work colleague who I made granny bunting for (I blogged about it here), loved the bunting so much that she also placed an order. I was more than happy to oblige. This is what it looked like last week Friday when I was sitting outside crocheting granny bunting. There is no way that I can crochet without tea in my favourite somewhere-between-a-mug-and-a-teacup Anthropologie drinking vessel and mini doilie coaster.  So many colours, patterns and crochet together in one square photo!

You know I don’t do pink, but I really love that strawberry ice cream shade of pink Vinnis Nikkim. It’s in my Etsy shop for £3 a ball. The grey and white mini doilie is also for sale in my Etsy shop. (No-one is buying it so I may as well use it. Right?)

Wishing you all a Terrific Tuesday.

Natasja

A white baby blanket

Tags

, ,

Sirdar baby blanket
I’ve been crocheting a baby blanket for a lady at work and now it’s time to share it with you. Lynette suffered from a major illness last year (I don’t know the details, I just know she was at death’s door) but miraculously recovered, only to find out a couple of months later she was expecting again. She already has two teenage children and wasn’t planning on getting pregnant. I think Baby No. 3 is a second chance, don’t you agree? I mean really. She was near death, recovers and then falls pregnant. There must be more to it than just “a unexpected pregnancy”. Knowing how special this baby is I put a lot of love into her blanket. You would too, wouldn’t you?

First step was to find a pattern. There are thousands of baby blanket patterns out there. Luckily, just before Lynette asked me to crochet her a blanket, I had my yearly magazine clear-out. For some reason I decided to keep the Simply Crochet Summer 2012 issue. It was one of their early issues, before they had their make-over. There isn’t really anything I would want to make for myself in that issue, but I kept it anyway. Strange how that works…. or not so strange because that issue contained a beautiful baby blanket pattern by Sirdar! I showed it to Lynette and she loved it.

Sirdar baby blanket pattern

That pattern is for a newborn baby (61 x 76cm), but Lynette wanted something bigger that could be used for longer, so we decided on dimensions of roughly 76 x 89 cm. I used the same yarn as suggested by the pattern, so it was just a case of making a longer foundation chain and adding a few extra pattern repeats.  I ended up with a 72 x 92cm blanket. I realised I could (should?) have added two more pattern repeats in the row which would have brought it closer to the 76cm width, but I think the length will make up for the slightly smaller width.

white baby blanket

The wavy “cosy cuddles” pattern is easy to do and you get into the rhythm of it quite quickly, but it looks much more complicated. The pattern doesn’t call for a border but I like adding borders to blankets. It just feels unfinished without. It also helps to bring a blanket to the desired size… I chose border no. 99 from Around The Corner Crochet.

border 99

white baby blanket The nitty gritty of the white baby blanket:

Pattern: Sirdar Wave pattern blanket (Cosy Cuddle)

Publication: Simply Crochet Summer 2012

Yarn: Sirdar Snuggly 4 ply

Hook: 3.5 mm

Border: Around The Corner Crochet border #99

Size with border:   72 x 92cm. 23 Pattern rows, with 13 pattern repeats per row.

The blanket is now wrapped and tagged with Ravelry tags, ready to give to Lynette on Monday. (I love my Ravelry tags. It’s printed on thick card and on the bag are care instruction symbols that you can circle with space to write the fibre content of the yarn. It’s only $5 for a pack of 6. If you make a lot of crochet for others as gifts, this is really handy.)

Ravelry tag

I hope Mom and Baby likes the blanket. I enjoyed making it and put a lot of love into it. I can see why people enjoy making baby blankets – it’s quick, satisfying and you are making something warm and snug for a tiny person. I like that.

Terrific Tuesday

On a Monday I can still remember the fun I had over the weekend, Wednesday is the middle of the work week, on Thursday I start getting hopeful and on a Friday I can taste the weekend. But what about a Tuesday? It’s so…. just there. Weekend memories are too far away and the upcoming weekend might as well be a year away.

What we need is a bit of colourful inspiration to get us going on a Tuesday, don’t you think? A pretty picture, beautiful scenery or colourful imagery. Yup, that’ll liven up Tuesdays and turn it into a terrific day!

From now on I will go through my photos and Pinterest likes every Tuesday and find us a pretty picture to add colour and joy to the day.

xxxxxx

 Jubilee walk to blackfriars bridge

Look for the beauty in the everyday world – like Jubilee Walk with Blackfriars bridge and St. Pauls overlooking the Thames. What a way to start the day!

Wishing you all a Terrific Tuesday.

Natasja

 

Terrific Tuesday

Tags

, , , ,

On a Monday I can still remember the fun I had over the weekend, Wednesday is the middle of the work week, on Thursday I start getting hopeful and on a Friday I can taste the weekend. But what about a Tuesday? It’s so…. just there. Weekend memories are too far away and the upcoming weekend might as well be a year away.

What we need is a bit of colourful inspiration to get us going on a Tuesday, don’t you think? A pretty picture, beautiful scenery or colourful imagery. Yup, that’ll liven up Tuesdays and turn it into a terrific day!

From now on I will go through my photos and Pinterest likes every Tuesday and find us a pretty picture to add colour and joy to the day.

xxxxxx

Vinnis colour palette blue and red tiles

Yesterday I showed you a collection of all the beautiful things I saw at the V&A Museum but today’s Terrific Tuesday focuses on only one of the inspiring pieces: Turkish tiles made at the Iznik potteries near Istanbul in 1580.  They might be more than 400 years old but they can still inspire us with their beautiful colour. The Vinnis Nikkim yarn in this colour palette is available here.

Wishing you all a Terrific Tuesday.

Natasja

My favourite things at the V&A Museum

Tags

, , , ,

On Friday, in an attempt to get away from the bathroom renovations we still have going on at home, I went to the Victoria & Albert Museum: the world’s greatest museum of Art and Design. It was fantastic. I spent four hours wandering, staring, taking photos, looking closely, looking from above and looking from afar at amazing pieces of art and craftsmanship.

Such a lot of what is in the V&A can be appreciated as pieces of art but it was never intended to be viewed as art. It was created to be used, and indeed it was, but it is so beautifully and skilfully made that we now exhibit it in glass cabinets and preserve it for future generations. Looking at hand embroidered carpets, dresses, tea cups, hand painted tiles and stained glass windows I couldn’t help but wonder what the craftsman of these pieces would think knowing that their skills were so extraordinary that it is now exhibited as an example of excellence. I love that there are places like the V&A which celebrate these craftsman and artisans, and inspire home crafters like me with extraordinary textures, scale, skill level and colour.

Here are a few photos of the pieces I loved most.

Fine Turkish hand embroidery:

 

Painted tiles depicting Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary. I stood in front of these tiles for 10 minutes just staring. I absolutely adore this.

The beautiful colours of these tiles:

I would wear that handbag now, and the Dior jacket is just perfect. The length of the sleeve, the turn-up of the sleeve, slight pleating over the shoulder, nipped in waist – everything is exquisite.

The 6th floor Ceramics department was amazing. I studied pottery in High School, blue and white ceramics pull me in like a magnet and I have a freakishly obsessive fascination with milk jugs so this was heaven.  The museum houses the world’s most extensive collection of ceramics – no wonder it needs a whole floor to itself.

If you have builders/family/unwelcome guests invading your home go to the V&A. It’s the perfect place to forget your troubles and immerse yourself in creative peacefulness.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,122 other followers