Hi there & welcome to Annie's Place. A place inspired by and named after my late Grandmother Annie. Somewhere I can be creative, and share my love for all things handmade. I like nothing better than sitting with hook & yarn, crafting something home spun & completely unique, or rustling up some yummy baked goodies. I live in a town with a beautiful embankment, situated on the River Great Ouse. You may know me as CosyKitty on Ravelry.
Why not stop a while.....?!!
I do hope the start of 2018 has been kind to you! I am settling in quite nicely I have to say, and feeling very optimistic for the year ahead. I've managed to swerve the germs that seem to be sweeping the nation at the minute. A nasty strain of cold and flu is currently doing the rounds, and I'm happy to report I've dodged it so far. Not to tempt fate, I will be dosing myself up with plenty of fresh fruit & fluids, keeping warm and avoiding anyone remotely sniffling, sneezing or coughing. How realistic that is is another thing......
Interspersed between the festive frivolity over recent weeks, I've been trying to wrap my head around setting up accounts on some of the other popular social media platforms. As I said last time I am in the midst of crocheting up some stock to eventually sell in my own little online shop. Things are moving in the right direction, but I appreciate there's much to do in preparation of that so I'm trying to be as methodical as I can be without procrastinating too much. I've only ever had this little ole blog to look after, so it's quite daunting to be honest.
I did set myself a little challenge though. One that has excited and frightened me in equal measure. I thought it was high time I tried my hand at planning a local event that would bring like-minded yarn addicted souls together in one place. Something that I thought would appeal to a lot of the local crafty folk in and around my home town of Bedford. It seemed to be perfect timing as our local Community Boat 'The John Bunyan' was just organising it's itinerary for the new season of excursions on the River Great Ouse when I made my initial enquiry.
Needless to say I thought it would be easy to secure a Saturday in June this early in the year, but it wasn't as straightforward as that. It's a very popular vessel, and you really do have to get in early to avoid disappointment. Nonetheless with a little tweaking I've managed to book a charter for a 4 hour cruise travelling downstream from the Priory Marina in Bedford towards Willington & return. I've organised a Cream Tea at no extra cost too! What better way to spend an afternoon?! Craft, Cream Tea, and a leisurely Cruise along the River Ouse.
If this sounds like something you would like to do with me, then please do consider coming along. I would love to meet you all. It's my first foray into hosting this type of event so fingers crossed it proves popular. If you click on the flyer in my side bar it will take you straight to the booking site. Alternatively I am now on Facebook, and there is the option to book tickets securely and directly from the Events Page there.
Hello friends, as you may have noticed things have been a little bit quiet here at Annie's Place of late. Not because I've intentionally distanced myself from the blog; more that I've not really felt I had much to say. I'm facing my first Christmas without Mum and it's all a bit overwhelming if I'm honest.
I've had lots of time to think, and mull over my future, and one thing my Mum taught me over the course of her illness is that you have to seize the day and take risks sometimes. I have her melodic Irish brogue ringing loud in my ears 'stop talking about it Sharron, and do it!'
The upshot is we had lots of chats those last few precious months of her life and she made it clear she wanted me to live the best version of myself, and not to allow anything to get in the way of that. Since she's been gone I've kept to my pledge to take each breath with purpose and to see the positive in every day.
It's hard of course, as real life throws up all sorts of challenges that can derail that philosophy at any given moment. The difference is now I really appreciate the freedom that has been bestowed upon me since Mum so selflessly left this world. Being an unpaid Carer for someone you love is so dreadfully difficult, and until you're in that situation you really don't understand how isolating it can be.
I would of course give anything to have Mum back, but not for a second with the suffering she endured in the last 9 months of her life. If you're a Carer or have cared for someone then you'll know what I mean.
I understand I'm beginning to waffle a little, so I'll get to the point of this post. I just wanted to introduce you to something that I've been working on in the background in the hope you will perhaps support me in this new endeavour. I've decided to start crocheting bags to eventually sell online. I'm just in the fledgling stages of this idea, and envision getting things off the ground in earnest in the new year.
In Mum's memory I have named this new endeavour Pádraigín handmade (pronounced paw-dri-geen). Translated it is my Mother's name Patricia in the Irish language. I thought it would be a fitting tribute to brand my handmade items with her name. What do you think? I do hope you agree it's a nice way to remember her through my creativity.
As a start I've very recently joined Instagram, and hope to have a Facebook Page up and running very soon. All new to me, as Annie's Place has only ever been a blog. I would of course love it if you would join me on Instagram to keep up to date with all my crafty goings on. Just click on the Brand Logo in my side bar to be taken there.
If any of you would be interested in owning a bag made by my own fair hand, do let me know by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. I also have a few other things in the planning for next year that I'm excited about, but will share that as soon as I have dotted the i's and crossed the t's as it were! Your continued support would be much appreciated as I embark on this new chapter.
In the mean time I would like to wish you all the very best over the festive season. Whether you celebrate or not it's a time to reflect on the year gone by. Personally 2017 has proven to be one of the hardest thus far, but I am optimistic for 2018 and that's what counts.
It's the middle of November! How did that happen? The last 3 months have been a bit of a blur if I'm honest. I've been keeping out of trouble, staying busy & taking any opportunity I can to distract myself from the emptiness I feel since losing Mum. I'm doing well (I think) and have plenty to be thankful for.
It also happens to be my favourite time of year. I welcome Autumn with open arms. Shall we say I've made a conscious effort to have an abundance of Hygge filling my world. Take that Strala pendant lamp from IKEA for example. I bought that on a whim a few weeks ago, and just seeing it hang in my window fills me with joy.
I'm pleased to report I still have my crochet mojo. I'm currently immersed in a few projects. I have adopted the approach that having a little production line of squares going on in different colours and patterns will keep my interest. Rather than just focusing on one thing. I'm using a mix of Rowan (discontinued line), Stylecraft and Drops Yarns. The affordability factor influences my purchases at the moment.
Sunday gone, I took myself into London for the final day of the Country Living Christmas Fair. It was at the BDC (Business Design Centre) in Islington. I really fancied a mooch around, to eye up some potential gifts for Santa to bring me in a few weeks. Not that my family are privy to this of course...
I made sure I had my comfy shoes on this time (after learning my lesson at previous exhibitions attended) as I knew it would be vast. I wasn't wrong.
There was plenty to tempt me, but sadly it was more window shop than buy on this occasion. You might say what's the point in going all that way if you haven't got a stash of cash to flash? But to be honest, I get just as much enjoyment out of the visuals, being able to see things, and touch things. Finding out about new product lines. Picking up business cards along the way, so I can always go back to the online shop and purchase when funds allow. I'm all for supporting small businesses.
I also like that I can 'meet the makers'. I had the opportunity to speak to many of the designers at the show, and it was wonderful to hear their stories. To know the provenance of the items being sold makes them worth so much more.
One person that stood out for me was the lady you can see pictured (above left) with her wonderful array of handmade textiles; Sian O'Doherty. Her collection really caught my eye, and I have to say I covet her exquisite knitted lampshades.
Do you want a giggle?
If you're easily offended look away now....
Well what can I say? I was in fits at this stall....
and yes I did make a purchase hehehe....
There was just enough time to take a wander along Camden Passage, after the fair had finished. More window shopping ensued. There were some gorgeously scented reed diffusers in that shop HAYGEN. The two shop assistants probably thought I was a bit mad the way I was oohing and aahing over them.
There are lots of lovely independent retailers along this stretch. Not to mention the aptly named ANNIE'S vintage store on the corner. Oh and of course LOOP. Yarn lovers look away now.......!!
It was such a lovely way to spend an afternoon. I'm heading back into London next week for the Ideal Home Show Christmas with some friends. So no doubt I'll be back to tell you all about it. Until then I'll leave some links to some of the traders from the show that took my eye.....*
I've not been the most conscientious of bloggers lately. Unfortunately I've had another bereavement in the family. My Mother's Sister sadly passed away very suddenly two weeks ago. In the early hours of the 3rd of August she slipped away after suffering a sudden and catastrophic bleed on the brain. As you can imagine this has been very traumatic for all the family, as we only lost Mum 6 months ago. We will be saying a final goodbye to her this time next week.
Over the past several weeks I've been beavering away in the background finishing off another bag project. I've popped a couple of pics at the top of this post to show you the completed item. I'm so happy with it, and the recipient was so excited to receive it. I could picture it before I even hooked that first stitch, and it turned out exactly as I'd hoped.
The weather's been very hit and miss here this Summer. But I've managed to dodge most of the showers and make the best of the bright, warm days. I recently went back to my old stomping ground in London. I used to work five minutes walk from Buckingham Palace, and would often have my lunch in St James' Park out front of the Queen's most famous residence.
I like nothing better than just wandering the streets of the Capital, people watching. Of course there is always a throng of tourists, but I love that. I love that such a diverse mix of people descend on our City every year to enjoy the history, which is evident every corner you turn. Of course I had to take my friends to see the gorgeous Peggy Porschen Parlour in Belgravia. With it's pastel pink facade, adorned with flowers, and a Pashley bicycle propped up out front, it truly is a gem of a place.
There's been lots of development in the area since I lived and worked in that part of London. The developers have really maximised every last square inch of space. Eye watering price tags on even the smallest of properties. There's lots of nice places to eat and drink al fresco though, so a girl can pretend to be a local ;)
Well, that's a little update from me.
Please say hello if you stop by.....love to hear from you xxxx
Is there anything more satisfying than a pile of crochet squares waiting to be made into something special?? Hmmm, takes some beating as I'm sure most of you agree?
This pile is a B.I.P. or Bag In Progress to you and me. A happy pile of teal granny squares sat atop some lovely coordinating fabric sourced locally for the lining.
Another bag similar to others I've made here and here. They are a joy to make and I enjoy the whole process from start to finish. I'm more and more drawn to this colour lately for some reason. It is yummy though.
I'm at the assembly stage, the exciting bit. I'm so looking forward to finishing it and giving it to the lovely recipient. Hence why I'm not showing too much now.
It's exceptionally dull and muggy here today. High humidity is not pleasant. Especially for people with respiratory disease. I can't help but worry about those people, as I reminisce my own Mother's struggle in this type of weather. Not pleasant at all. Sorry for the tangent, but I do have such sympathy for people who suffer in this heat.
We had a wild night last night, thunder, lightening, battering rain. It was nice inside looking out at the drama unfold. But earlier in the evening I had to travel the 20 or so miles back from my Father's home and it was hair raising to say the least.
Still, it afforded me a day to catch up at home. A lazy start, a bit of fruit for brekkie and a read of my favourite magazine. I find when the sun is shining I have an irresistible urge to go out and do something fun. On a day like today I'm happy to chill in my comfy little space called home.
One fun thing I did get to do recently was take a leisurely trip down the Ouse on the local community boat The John Bunyan with Dad. Since Mum passed away we've been making memories, doing simple, enjoyable things together. It's a blessing to be able to while away the hours with him, talking, laughing and remembering Mum.
We took a punt (pardon the pun) and just made our way down to Sovereigns Quay hoping there would be a spare seat or two on board for the afternoon cruise. It turned out to be like a private charter for us in the end, as there was only a smattering of other people on board. And most of them were the wonderful crew of volunteers, without whom the boat wouldn't be the success it is.
Mind you I'm not complaining, as every other time I've seen it it's been very busy, so it felt kinda special to have it practically to ourselves. I think we were just very lucky as it's a popular attraction here in Bedford.
Hello my lovely readers. I'm here today to ask for some help. I know how generous so many of you are therefore I thought I'd take the opportunity to pull at your heartstrings a little if I may.
Sophie is the 13 year old daughter of a very good friend of mine, and she has decided to donate her hair to a UK charity that makes real hair wigs for children who have lost theirs due to cancer treatment or other illnesses.
Anything, however small would be gratefully received to maximise Sophie's fundraising efforts. Let's see if we can make a difference.