Suze H

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Tuesday, 26 March 2013

All good girls go to Devon

Which is exactly where I went a couple of weeks ago for a few days.  I hadn't had any proper time off work since September and felt in need of some recuperation time, so what better place to go than Exmouth to see the folks.  Sadly, HP couldn't make it this time, but at least that gave me and my Mum some quality time in the charity shops boutiques.  And Devon is fantastic for 'boutique' shopping, but that's for another blog (because I haven't taken photos of those purchases yet!)

The weather was a bit of a mixed bag.  We went to Sidmouth on the Saturday and the sea was really rough that day.  I nearly got drenched getting some photos!

Even this seagull was a bit dubious about getting too close!

Poor Dad got dragged around a few of the shops here.  I saw a brilliantly named shop, which I thought pretty much summed me up.....

This little seaside resort went all out with window displays:

How cute is this!
The weather was pretty good on the Sunday, so we nipped down to the seafront for a disgustingly huge ice cream.  I didn't get any pics of me with a double cone ice cream, because that really isn't a pretty sight, but seeing the sun out was really nice!

A much calmer sea

The flooded car park shows how bad the weather has been!
On the Monday, it was off to Budleigh Salterton, the favoured resort for honeymooners back in the day.  Had an amazing and leisurely lunch at a lovely little pub and a stroll along yet another beach front - well, you have to when you're at the seaside, don't you?!

Before I knew it, the days had whizzed by and I was on my way back to Cambridgeshire.  Still, I had a lovely few days and was able to recharge my batteries (even if I did get ill with a bad cold and cough - grrrrr!!!!)

Thanks Mum and Dad for spoiling me rotten.  Missing you both already!

I'll leave you with a piccie of this fabulous sign in my parents' porch, which, yes, my incredibly talented Dad made.  The only things he didn't make were the shells.  I also have some photos of his most recent origami creations, which I will post about very soon.

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Charity shops? I think of them more as boutiques...

The title of this post is a quote from a friend.  She says charity shops are like boutiques because you can always pick up something unique and there's always something different every time you go in.  Fortunately, though, the prices are always better.

Well, I did a bit of 'boutique' shopping on Saturday.  I usually avoid the town centre like the plague at the weekend, as it's always so busy, but an appointment meant I couldn't avoid it, so I thought I'd make the most of my time there.  I managed a few good buys:

Some books....
....because I don't have enough waiting to be read and then given back to charity shops!

A lovely skirt....
...which is nice and swishy

And a gorgeous snuggly cowl from ASOS at the bargain price of £2.95!
Hobbycraft in Cambridge opened well over a year ago and I still haven't been, so I thought a detour there was long overdue. I was quite restrained I though.

There was a 3 for 2 on all yarn, so it would have been rude not to....
Some sparkly felt - fabulous for jewellery making, when you want a bit of sparkle to shine through.  So much more time effective than sticking sequins on plain felt.

A 'modest' selection of jewellery making bits and bobs:

I loved this Buddha charm.....

....and instantly had to make it into a necklace, which has already become a firm favourite.

In the selection pack, you may also spot a blank square silver charm, which I turned into this:
I just stuck a couple of rhinestone flowers on to give it a bit of colour and added a chain and barrel clasp.

I have to confess, I went a bit mad with the necklace side of things this weekend:

I really like the last necklace - it's made with purple semi-precious stones, but the picture doesn't do it justice.

Finally, I have to confess to a shocking piece of plagiarism!  Helen from SewStylish made a gorgeous silver button necklace and I loved her design so much that I just had to make one of my own.  I love how it has turned out and I've already had lots of compliments on it:

It's pretty much identical in design to Helen's, because I so loved the original, so thank you very much for the fantastic inspiration, Helen, and I hope you don't mind me copying your design. 

Monday, 4 March 2013

Ever started a job and thought why, why....WHY?!

Well, that's what I did on Saturday.  I woke up and thought, "I know, today I'm going to completely sort out my craft room!"  I hadn't even been drinking the night before so no excuse there!

Well, once I started, I had to carry on, but it was no easy task, I can tell you.  I have way too many clothes (my craft room also serves as a 'dressing room'), way too much yarn, way too many books (and a load more are stuffed in the bedroom waiting to be discarded to charity shops once they've been read), way too many beads/ findings, etc. and just generally way too much junk (but hey, I may need it at some point!)

I think the bookcase was probably the biggest task.  It may not look much from a distance, but appearances can be deceptive!

So much stuff!
I also decided to sort out my entire box of buttons.  You know what it's like, you get a spare button with a garment and just throw it in a box and finally you end up with a mess like this!  Well, this took well over an hour dividing the buttons into colours, but I was so pleased when it was done and I've got some gorgeous buttons I never knew I had.  I can feel some button jewellery coming on......

See, there weren't as many buttons as you first thought!
All nicely divided into bags according to colour

While I was in the zone, I even tackled my little baskets of general nik-naks and again found lots of little things I didn't know were even there!

I got rid of quite a few knitting needles (freebies from magazines or plastic ones given to me when I first started out) so I shall donate those to my work's knitting group.  We've got a few new knitters there, so it'll save them having to spend their pennies.

I even unearthed some jewellery making kits that I'd been given quite a while ago, so they are now in my 'projects to do box'. 

I haven't made any knitted wire bracelets for a while and I love doing them, so I promise I will crack on with these projects this spring!

Well, after all this sorting, I really felt that I was getting somewhere, and then turned round and was faced with this......

I won't tell you what I said, because it was rather naughty!  By this time, I thought a well-earned break was called for, so I stuck my head out the window and called in HP (who was doing a sterling job of clearing the garden) for lunch.

Come 2 o'clock, there was no putting it off any longer, so armed with a few of my favourite CDs, I headed back to the craft room for round 2.  Well, to cut a long story short (too late, I hear you cry!) I finally finished around 6 o'clock and once again the room was clear.
The finished book shelf

You may not be able to see too much of a difference in the before and after picture of the book shelves, but there is a vast difference, trust me.  I felt so great when it was done.  Getting a big project like that completed is great for you qi energy (so I've been told!)

In between all this spring cleaning, I still found time to catch up with some lovely friends.  It was AJ's birthday on Friday so we all met up that afternoon for a few cups of tea.  I made her a brooch, a shamballa bracelet, a necklace and a leather bead wrap bracelet:

A rather dark piccie, but the birthday girl loved it

I cheated somewhat with the necklace.  I found these beads in John Lewis, already on a wire strand, so they did the design for me.  I just turned it into a necklace.  The colours are lovely and very AJ!
This is the necklace on.  What I love about making your own jewellery is that you can make it exactly to your specifications.  I find most necklaces are way too long for my taste.  My Mum likes her necklaces to be almost chokers so she gets me to make a lot of stuff for her!

And what birthday is complete without flowers?!  Hope you had a lovely day, AJ!

Then, on Sunday, me and HP met up with Lady Char-Char and Dazzle for Sunday lunch and it was my turn to get some pressies.  Lady Char-Char gave me a pair of gorgeous sling-backs which are too big for her and a little silk bag that she found and bought for me.

She knows me well - green is my favourite colour...

....and it matches my knitting needle case perfectly!  Thank you!!!

And I even found time to do some baking.  Yesterday afternoon, I made a strawberry and white choc chip loaf, some raspberry cupcakes with coconut icing and some blueberry and raspberry muffins.  Fear not, they're not all for me and HP!

 Anyone fancy a cup of tea with their cake?