Fairy Inspired!

Hello everyone,

Apologies for the extremely long break – I lost my charger for my camera!! So no photos to show = no interesting blog posts! Thankfully – I’m back!! Thanks to Mr Toadstool who graciously lent me the use of his very flashy Canon – I can point and press but only just.

I have some yummy photos to share with you (thanks to Mr T and his lovely Canon!) – all fairy inspired.

I’ve been making elf hoods and persuaded Little Miss H during a walk in the woods to model one! I love the woods – especially when accompanied to my fave woods with Little Miss H!

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Oh yes -it is really that cute in real life – all mermaid coloured and yummy next to the stunning foxgloves! – A fae flower if ever there was one!!

It has a little wooden button with the same colours painted as flowers on it (apologies for not getting a photo of it – my model ran out of go-go juice!)

Oh ok just one more for the faeries amongst you!

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The little button with fastening allows it to be done up (as shown) or left open if the weather is warmer. As we were in the woods it was a little chilly in the shade!

On the Faery scene I also managed to get a little piccie of the faery bags that I have been making recently – the woods do add that extra dimension to them. They have now been lined with owlie fabric! You can just see it poking out above the conical bag – I have to say it is very cute!

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I think I may have found my ‘brand’! Woodland with a touch of fairy – think that just about covers it!!

Hope you are all having a wonderful half term!

Until next time, I’ll be looking for the fae!

Emma x

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Busy days and a shawl!

Well hello everyone in blogland!

Things have been… what is the right word now? CrAzY here at the toadstool recently – school plays, rehearsals, residential trips – you name it we’ve had it! Plus my darling Mum in hospital for a week so multiple trips back and forth from the hospital were required. She is doing really well and is back at home now (love you Mum!!) and so life has got somewhat back to normal! School production for No 1 Son takes place over three nights next week – counting down! He is busy upstairs learning lines. Anyway, I digress. When my lovely Mum was in hospital she took in the wrap that I had made for her birthday – I’m not sure why but I have not got any shots of it sorry. The lady in the bed next door could often be found wearing it and so prompted by Mum I decided to make her a small shawl. Here it is

DSCN2412 Oh how I love this shawl – the triangles in it don’t stand out until you photograph it. The pattern came from a magazine but I’m not sure which one – I think it’s name was ‘Serenade’. I added the button as I ran out of yarn and so it was snug and I didn’t want her to have to continually reajust it. It is made from Sirdar Crofters yarn (I’ll definitely be buying it again – soft and comes in a range of colours). Here’s a few more piccies:

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Ooh – button storage jar just crept into that shot – sneaky! And the big buttons are what I used to close the shawl with.

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That’s a shot of a decapitated me taken by No 1 Son just so you can see how it fits. Just the right amount of snuggly. Think I may have been standing slightly oddly!!

Apart from the shawl I have been making raggy stars for a craft fair, needle felted toadstools and am contemplating headbands! So many things going round and round in my creative little mind some of which require buttons and ribbon (ahhh! I feel some shopping coming on). I’ll get off the computer and go and make some of them so that I can show you all.

Until next time, take time to breathe!

Emma

x

Welcome to the new Toadstool!

Hello everyone! Many apologies for the extremely long absence – who knew moving house would be sooo stressful! Never again!!

However, the new Toadstool is now starting to look a little more like home. Would you like a tour? Okay, lets start from the beginning. As you walk in we have the hallway … here it is looking lovely and ‘new’ … not a lot had moved in at this stage. ( I am totally in love with the stripey carpet!)

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Now it has these little treasures in it

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Here are the gorgeous windows that I so I haven’t cleaned – for vertically challenged little old me it could be a mammoth task!)

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And here we have the corner of the conservatory that I have adopted as my own – yes I know – faery wings! I love anything vaguely faery so when the opportunity came to have my wings sat out I leapt at it.

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As you will notice the light in here is perfect for a tiny spottle of crochet … here’s some now! A granny square baby blanket that I am making for a lovely expecting lady – it’s a surprise! Oh and some light reading to go with it.

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We were so very lucky and got lots of beautiful gifts when we moved in. My house has been filled with flowers since the day we moved. Thanks everyone – you’re all gorgeous! I love the colour of the soft pink rose – might need to put this on the mood board for my bedroom.

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There is a story behind the tea pot – it’s from a teasmaid that we found in our old attic! Bargain!

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And here’s a present from a lovely lady – all of the flowers in the vase mean something. How I love the gorgeous fluffy, soft buds of the pussy willow.

And I will leave you with the Rainbow Fish that No 1 Son made me many many years ago! … just because I can!!

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I will show you more next time! Until then, follow your dreams.

Emma

x

 

Clutter camouflage and a tiny bit of crochet!

Hello all in Blogland!

I have had a lovely few weeks. Not least going away to see the newest littley in the family and his gorgeous brother and sister, mum and dad.

When I returned my thoughts turned, as inevitably they do when you’ve been away for a little while and walk through your front door to see your house with fresh eyes – eyes that see all the clutter that you thought you had dealt with before you went – to fixing the clutter! So the first thing on my clutter camouflade list was the bedroom of Little Miss H. Here is the ‘before’ photo so you can see what I mean!

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I know – just looking at the mess makes me huff! I don’t mind mess when it is played with mess, this is just mess! And it’s not really even that messy but it was bugging me so I put on my thinking cap. And this is what I came up with –

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Oh how I love sewing gingham fabric! Follow the lines and you can’t go wrong. I used sticky back velcro which I stuck directly to the inside of the bed and then sewed and stuck the furry side to the fabric and voila – a disguised amount of clutter. Here’s another photo – just for me to revel in the tidiness of it all!

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Ahh that’s better! I even had enough fabric left to make a cute gingham pillow.

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I’d love to make a whole duvet cover (but need more fabric to do that!) Doesn’t it go well with the crocheted loveliness?

What else have I been up to? Well I have made a bit more of a start on making things for our school Christmas Fair – I took snowflakes last year and virtually sold out. This year I am aiming to take a variety of different things. I wanted to take some Christmas bunting – I had a definite idea of what I wanted it to look like and typically I couldn’t find a pattern that quite fitted the bill.

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I’m not sure if you can see but the yarn has little sparkly bits in it which looks lovely in snowflakes and bunting! I knew I wanted pennant style bunting rather than triangular and so I made up my own pattern for it! I know … get me – crocheting for 18 months and making up my own patterns to boot. Who’d have thought 18 months ago when, let’s face it, a granny square was way beyond me (well it wasn’t square anyway!) to now I would be making up patterns as I went along. Totally amazed myself and I’m really rather pleased with how it’s come out. So much so in fact that I am going to try to write a tutorial for it – I know – once again – get me! I’m ludicrously happy about the whole thing! So excuse me for not showing the finished article – I’ll post it together with the tutorial.

I’ll leave you with a favourite picture from Half term

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There is really something very magical about Warwick Castle. Just thinking of all the hundreds of people who had walked over the entrance cobbles boggled my mind!

Until next time, I wonder what your something Magical is?

Emma

x

Summer is here!

Hello Everyone!

About ten days ago I had given up hope of ever seeing Summer and so I crocheted myself a mini hot water bottle cover. No 1 Son, Little Miss H and I often wander off with a tent in the summer and having a little hot water bottle just makes it that much lovelier. Up until now the HWT had been cuddled nude, but then you always have the first cuddle where it is just too hot. So I solved the problem with this very quick and straightforward make. I double crocheted a long rectangle inserting a row of trebles followed by three chain stitches and leaving a gap of two double crochets before joining them up (hope that makes sense – it did in my head!) to make the gap for the bow to go through and then double crocheted up the edges and voila – there we have it. It still needed a little something so I gave it a multi-coloured fringe … I love it!

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In the background you can see the Tulip Etimo Rose crochet hooks that I have been longing for ( the ones I am using do the job just fine but my fingers ache after a while) so I am yearning after these for the comfort factor … oh and have you noticed? They’re PINK!

In typical fashion since making the hot water bottle cover the weather has been beautiful – long sunny days begging to be filled with Barbeques and beach trips, gardening and sitting admiring the roses. Which is exactly what I have been doing!

Our first proper outside barbeque of the year was held at a lovely neighbours house and involved eating these:

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Oh and this

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YUm YuM! Soooo tasty I can’t tell you. Mouthwateringly good and tasting all the finer for being outside in the glorious sunshine with good company and kids that splashed in pools and were as happy as we were.

Since then it has been beautiful weather which has resulted in my garden springing into life and providing me with beautiful roses to ooh and ahh at as well as gorgeous fuschia – one of my favourites.

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On the hooky front – I am still dotty!

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But growing slowly – about ten more little circles to make into squares now, then the exciting bit arranging them all and popping on a border. Then another blanket will be complete for all the many babies due to all my wonderful friends!

And a SeCreT project which is on the go at the moment which is complete but is a gift to a lovely lady who reads the blog so I can’t possibly show you at this stage! Suffice it to say – it’s summery. That’s it, my lips are now sealed! Feel free to have a guess and I’ll let you know after the gift is presented if you are right!

Until next time, enjoy the weather and keep crocheting!

Emma

x

Feeling a little dotty

Hello all, it’s been a while!

I’ve had to take a little blogging break because my dear mum has been in hospital with a mystery lurgy. She’s still there now and getting very bored while the lovely doctors and nurses figure out quite what to do with her – she’s a medical mystery! Get well soon mum!

Anyway on the crochet front I’ve had a little pause too – still no eyes or beaks on my owls and the red white and blue blanket that I’ve been working on is not going too well either. Here is the beginning of it …

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I tried to like it, I really did. But, no I was not successful. So my brain got to thinking. Here is how it went … ‘I wonder if one colour spots would look better?’ …. ‘It could have a white border?’ … ‘Hmmm I wonder if my gorgeous sister-in-law would mind if I added a few colours to it?’ …. ‘Green maybe purple’ …  So I duly contacted sis-in-law and, lovely as she is, she said yes! So here are my dotty spots.

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You can just about see the white borders poking out. The colours haven’t come out quite as they are in reality – the yellow is really a lot nicer than that – promise! Anyway I think that I like them a lot more than the blue,red monstrosities that I started with.

It was summer solstice at the weekend and so I lit a candle and celebrated the longest day if the year. I like to mark the passing of the year and mark the equinoxes. Even if it is just lighting a candle just for me. Then came the most glorious full supermoon – this was taken from my garden at about eleven at night – so bright! My camera had a devil of a time getting that shot, many were deleted!

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I wandered around my garden today, it has been beautiful here. No wind (for the first time in ages) and lovely lovely sunshine all day. At the bottom of my garden are these gorgeous strawberry plants.

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I’ve had them years and they come back year after year, although they never produce enough for a fruit salad they are just ripe for plucking and eating right there and then… which is exactly what Little Miss H and I did with this beauty. It almost looks plastic it is so shiny. The most perfect gift to end our day.

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And here it is grasped by Little Miss H and having been decimated enjoyed by us! Yum Yum.

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Until next time I hope you’ve enjoyed your day and are joining me in counting blessings!

Emma

X

Robin Rescue and a growing blanket

Well hello all! We have had some exciting goings on at the Toadstool recently. Firstly, and most excitingly, we have had four teeny baby robins hatch out of our eggs … At first they are basically all beak but then after only a very few days they turn into sweet bundles of feathers like this … It’s getting a little crowded in the nest now.

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Then when we got home tonight one of the small chicks was hopping round the garden, so we scooped him up in a bucket and popped him back into the nest. Mr and Mrs Robin looked on worriedly. However this little chick was not to be beaten … I have named it ‘Persistence’. The use of tea towels and buckets to scoop him up with was hugely impressive but as fast as we deposited him back in the nest he would hop back out again ( for hop read fall). After the fifth time we built a little bridge on the floor so he could at least get back into the shed. I fear for his safety but really, save hand rearing him, there us little we can do. Anyway, all evening we have been on robin rescue high alert.

Surprisingly, this little robin seems to be doing very well. Mr and Mrs Robin are taking their parenting role extremely seriously and are seeking him out to feed him whilst he explores the garden. Doesn’t he look sweet perched on this plant pot with the bridge into the hole in the shed visible in the background. Really we do need to get a new shiny shed, one without gaping holes in it and a proper roof! I’d love a chalet for the bottom of the garden to use as a studio, although once all my glorious yarn was in there you may not see me again, I may just move in! Anyway, don’t you just love the tufts of baby hair still on his head – sweet!

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Moving on to other things now – The flowers in my garden are glorious at other moment and I have enjoyed taking ants eye views of them. Here are a few of my faves.

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And finally, the pastel bobbly blanket is nearly nearly finished so I thought you might like to see how its shaping up. I do so love those bobbles!

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The round balls in the background are owls – they just need their eyes and beaks sewn on but the bobbly blanket is thwarting my attempts to finish them! I just would love to have the blanket completed! Never mind, four more squares to go and then I can sew them all together and add the border … then done!

Until next time, I’ll be on Robin Alert and finishing bobbles – what will you be doing?

Emma

x

Multi-tasking!

Well it’s a busy old life here at the toadstool recently! My pretty, lacey, white blanket is still not finished – I think it may be a case of the white yarn faery stealing all my yarn for other things … either that or I’ve just plain run out of steam! So because of this lack of white I decided that it would be best to start yet another blanket – I know, bonkers right? Anyway this one is definitely bobbly and is pink, pale green, pale blue and pale yellow. I think a pale lilac may find it’s way in too. I’m hoping that it will be a blanket of cosiness for one of the new gorgeous babies due to be born in the next few months … here’s a piccie of it’s humble beginnings –

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The very first square – they are quite big, 28 stitches across, but I think they are gorgeous! The pattern came out of the 200 Crochet Blocks book that I recently purchased and I am hoping to make my way through many of the blocks as lots of them are stunning and had me ‘ooohing and aaahing’.

Not content on making another blanket I then created another pattern for my fairy gauntlets, they look very 1940’s to me and I can see them in classic grey, but for the timebeing here they are in glorious purple!

 

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These were given to a lovely lady as a birthday present which is why they look slightly too big for me as I only have teeny tiny hands!

Wildlife around the toadstool seems to be burgeoning at present – the egg count is now up to four

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I haven’t got any more recent photos as Mrs Robin is sitting on them all the time  – it can’t be long before they hatch now. She is quite laid back and allows us to poke our heads into the shed without flying off, although I haven’t chanced my luck with the camera for fear of upsetting her. Will try to get one when she’s facing the other way!

 

Then a surprise vistor dropped by! Whilst sitting outside enjoying the sunshine Little Miss H and I heard a splash! and when we turned around this is the sight that greeted us –

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Yup, taking a swim in the (very mucky) sandpit cum paddling pool was a toad!! Yes I know! I was surprised too! We have no idea where it came from as we are not really near to any streams or rivers – one minute Terence the Toad (we have to name everything! Mrs Robin got off lightly!!) was unknown and now he has taken up residence!

I’m now off to check on the wildlife and maybe get a little more blanket crochet in before bed!

Until next time I hope the sun shines on all of you!

Emma

x

Spring and the growing of many blankets

Although spring is meant to be here already I think someone forgot to tell Mother Nature. We still have very cold temperatures, daffodils are still in bloom and snow still lies on the sides of the road in some places where the sun has not reached. So I don’t mind at all that I still have No 1 son’s blanket to finish …. I’m thinking about eight more rows then border. It is looking glorious, bright, cheerful and is lovely and snuggly to crochet underneath.

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Even though the weather is missing Spring seems to be bringing new life to the fore – one baby for my sister-in-law due September, two friends due in July and August and September. Phew! It’s all very exciting! New beginnings = more blankets and I may even try my hands at bootees too. I’ve started a white blanket which I am working on alongside the ripple. The pattern is called ‘vintage charm’ and is from ‘The Making Spot’. I’ll give you a work in progress photo when I’ve done more than two rows.

I love the beginnings of spring … Possibly my favourite season with warmer days, new growth, the promise of abundance to come and renewed energy start new projects. So many creative ideas buzzing round my little head I now have to sketch and write them down.

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I love this little spot of moss in my parents garden – so green and glorious with silver thrown in for good measure. Can’t you just imagine a fairy sitting in this spot swinging her legs on this little comfy spot.  Sorry, I think I went off on a little ramble all by myself then!

Here’s a little shot of happy in the form of the softest fluffy sheep, ripple blanket and my two chocolate bunnies – there was meant to be a baby one too but Little Miss H discovered it before I could take the photograph of mummy, daddy and baby bunny!

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What’s your favourite season I wonder?

Until the next time, hope the promise of spring is making your day too.

Emma

X

Woods, creating and progress!

Another mad week in the toadstool tales world. This week I was involved with ‘Art Week’ at the school where I spend my days. What a fabulous week it has been! I can’t find a way to do the mosaic montage thingie so we will have to do our best, choose only a few photos  and cope with scrolling through them.

I spent a gorgeous day in the woods on Tuesday and the children made dream-catchers out of willow ….

 

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Then we decorated posts with things that we found in the natural environment (except for the string!) …

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Many apologies for the very pale photos – this strange yellow thing that I’ve not seen for a while was in the sky … think it might be called the sun!

We also made fire – sorry no photos for this as I was too busy keeping small hands out of the ‘danger zone’ and making hot chocolate and toasting marshmallows! Then there was den building and also shelters. Plus making beads out of elder. What a fantastic day I had and thanks must go to the teacher that requested my presence.

I have also helped to make large willow dragonflies with the children … again a totally fantastic experience, as well as sketch, draw, marble and many other techniques. This week has definitely been one that I will remember for a long time. I have felt completely at home with all these glorious creative activities!

On the hooky front I am getting close to finishing the patchwork blanket for my friends little girl (due in April!). The dreaded Ends still need sewing in and I can’t decide if another row is needed. Hmmm, what to do?!

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I do love the way the vibrant purple interacts with the paler colours – yum!

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And one more … just because I love the apple tree that hangs over our fence and the ivy creeping up it. Not good for the fence but I do love it. 

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Well I’m off now to decide whether another row is in order or to just leap into the stripey border without a care in the world. We will see!

Until next time I hope the sun is smiling on you.

Emma

x

Maniacal Medievalist

aka Esperanza de Navarra. Loving all things Medieval, especially the clothing!

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