12 September 2014

The Reading Tag 2014

Hello Lovelies!

I saw this tag over on Catherine's blog and as she tagged 'anyone and everyone' I thought that I would do it too! I've seen various book and reading tags floating around for a while now and wanted to do a video, but then I chickened out! Boo!!

I certainly don't get as much time to read as I did BZ (before Zoe), but that just means that I really savor those moments I do get a chance to curl up with a book! 


The reading tag 2014 - my to read list


Do you have a certain place for reading at home?
There are a couple of places I like to read - number one is in bed - comfy, cosy, sleepy time! I find that I sleep a lot better when I read before bed than if I go on my phone. The second is in the bath - not that I have time for long baths these days, but when I do I like to fill the tub with the hottest water I can stand, turn myself pink like a lobster, and (if it is the evening time) have a glass of cold white wine while surrounded by bubbles (usually from Lush!). Perfect!

Bookmark or random piece of paper?
At the moment I'm using a card that I was sent by Newton and the Apple when I bought Martin's fater's day presnet form Zoe - it's a little card with constelations on that says something like 'You are a star - a super shiny one' and it also says 'thank you anna!' on it - it makes me smile!

Can you just stop reading or do you have to stop after a chapter or a certain number of pages?
I can usually stop anywhere if I'm tired and then can pick up where I am again quite easily, although if it is a super exciting 'page-turner' type of book, I tell myself 'one more chapter' then ignore myself and keep reading! 

Do you eat or drink when reading?
On the rare occasions I get the chance to have an afternoon read then a cup of tea is my drink of choice. As I said above, bath = booze!!

One book at a time or several at once?
Usually one book at a time, although if I get a graphic novel mid-way through a long book, then I'll take a night or two out to read the graphic novel instead. It's nice to have a break sometimes! I would struggle to read two fiction books at the same time though - I have enough trouble remembering the plot of one!

Reading at home or everywhere?
At home, I don't really have the opportunity to read anywhere else usually. Although if I have to go on a train journey I'll take a book with me (but sometimes it makes me feel a bit squiffy - especially those pendolinos!!). 

Reading out loud or silently in your head?
The only time I read out loud is when I'm reading to Zoe, and then I like to put on silly voices. The mouse in the Gruffalo is always super camp when I read his voice though - and the snake has a lisp! Please tell me that other mums do this too?!?!

Do you ever read ahead or skip pages?
Sometimes my eyes will 'accidentally' skip down the page - especially if it's an exciting bit! I don't like to skip pages in case I miss something exciting, or crucial to the plot. 

Breaking the spine or keeping it new?
Sorry - I break spines! Does that make me a bad reader? I don't care!! 

Do you ever write in books?
No! I did once, a looong time ago - I tried analysing a book like it was some sort of GCSE coursework project. Sad or what?

What are you currently reading?
I'm reading The Tudor Princess by Darcey Bonnette which Martin bought me for my birthday. Or our anniversary. I can't remember! I do have a massive pile of books to read though and I'm eagerly awaiting Insurgent coming out in paperback! 

I will also tag anyone and everyone! Leave me a comment if you do this tag!

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5 September 2014

Zoe's Birthday Party!

Hello Lovelies!

On 16 August our little Zoe turned two! How did that happen, I do not know! We had a quiet morning opening presents, and then at 2pm family started arriving for the little party. I should have taken some photos of the decorations I did - a yarn-covered number '2', some tissue paper pom-poms in mint green and pink, and a little yarn pom-pom bunting. Very cute!! I also stuck photos of Zoe along the wall which people loved looking at, and finding themselves in the photos too!

Here are a few photos from the day:

Zoe taking a little break from opening her presents to sit in the giant cardboard box!


Zoe's dress was bought by Martin's Mum - it has loads of little shoes and bags on it! She didn't want to wear her pretty party shoes either, but these winter boots - that's some style you got there Zoe!!

One of her presents was this umberella - she walked around for ages saying 'rain! rain!' and poking people with the brolly! Please note the footwear change to blue mock-crocs with socks - another fashion faux-pas Zoe!

 Blowing out the candles on her Thomas cake with Daddy - who managed to singe her fringe just after this photo was taken! 

We sang happy birthday to her three times - the first time she blushed and went so shy - it was super cute!! 

What was your best birthday?

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2 September 2014

What I brought home from Woolfest 2014

Hello Lovelies

Wow, so this post has been sat in my drafts for a while! Remember back in June I went to Woolfest with my most amazing godmother Penny? No worries if you can't (it was aaaages ago!) - you can have a little read about my exciting day here.

Anywho - I said that I would share with you all of the lovely things I brought home with me and here they are!


First of all I just want to show you all of the lovely business cards and leaflets that I picked up from the various stands and stalls. Aren't they bright and cheery! I love keeping little bits and pieces like these, and if I was a more organised person I'm sure that they would be stuck in a scrapbook. But alas I am not organised and they are in a paper bag on my dressing table. Sigh.


This was my 'big treat' from the day - I didn't have a lot of money to spend so I wanted to get one skein of yarn that was soft and squishy and bright, so that I could have a go at crocheting a shawl/scarf type of thing. This is the yarn that I picked. It's from easyknits.co.uk and it's called Unicorn Dreams. And it sparkles. Need I say any more?!?! It's a 4 ply/sock weight yarn so perfect for a shawl, and I've almost finished it! I'm using this pattern from A la Sascha on Etsy and it's called the Windmill Shawl. There are quite a few mistakes in it, but there is no way I'm frogging it back - it's taken me so long to make!! Once I'm finished I will surely do an Attic24-style 'Ta-Da' post for you all!


This lovely spiral of gorgeousness was my other purchase of the day. Actually, Penny bought me it (thanks Penny!), not so that I could have a go at spinning (as much as I would love to I just don't think I have time for another crafty hobby!), but so that I can use it in my needle felting. I wrote a little post a while back all about needle felting, and even reviewed a book too. But I really want to use these tops for a flat needle felted picture, that I am imaging I would then stick on a bit of card and send to a lovely person. Whether I ever get round to it or not is another matter! In the meantime I just enjoy giving it a squish whenever I come accross it in my stash.

I'm planning on popping to Yarndale at the end of the month, so no doubt there will be more purchases and another post coming up all about that. I want to meet Lucy from Attic24 but am a bit scared I will go all fangirly and scare the bejeebus out of her.

Anyone else going to Yarndale? See you there!

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30 July 2014

What's it all about anyway?

Hello Lovelies!



I've been thinking a lot about this little blog lately. About why I blog, what I want to blog about, how I wish I had more time to spend on the blog, about other fantastic bloggers, about the type of blogs I read and why I read them.

A lot of thinking about things you'll agree!

I was talking to two of my fellow Cumbrian Bloggers yesterday over lunch - Jo and Anna - about some of these things. I always said that I never wanted to do a 'sorry I haven't updated the blog in forever!' style post, because a) I don't think that many people would even realise that I hadn't been blogging and b) you get all kinds of guilty feelings when you start to think like that.

Jo asked me yesterday "Do you ever not post for ages and then just feel like quitting?" - I know exactly what she means, although I don't feel like quitting. I try my hardest not to feel pressure to blog, but the fact that I actually have a blog is pressure itself, even if that pressure only comes from me.

In all aspects of my life, I seem to want to do everything. At work, I'm the one who volunteers for everything. Martin has said to me recently that I shouldn't start any new hobbies as I have enough stuff going on already. He was talking about loom bands, which to be honest, I lost interest in after about a week.

So what is the point of this (actually pretty random and rambly) post?

I guess it's to say to any of my readers (if I have any) that I'm still about, even though it's like the Marie Celeste over here. I'm enjoying spending time with my family, and enjoying the sunny weather (which now seems to have disappeared), I'm enjoying reading books in bed with Martin, and I'm enjoying spending (some of) my evenings exercising (yes - that's right - me! Exercise! Ha!).

I'm sure that at some point I'll pop back on over - I have lots of posts in my drafts folder (including some Woolfest related ones). They aren't going to go anywhere though, they will still be sitting there patiently waiting for me to sit down in front of my laptop with a cup of tea.

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4 July 2014

Woolfest 2014

Hello Lovelies!

Last Friday I went to Woolfest in Cockermouth (no giggling please!). I met up with my wonderful Godmother Penny and we had a day filled with yarny goodness, chatting and catching up, and spending money! This is a pretty picture heavy post - just to warn you!!

I've been trying to get to Woolfest for the last 3 years or so, and have been thwarted each year - but not this year!! I was determined to go, so booked the day off work and organised childcare for Zoe (thanks Diane!). And I am so glad that I did.

woolfest survival kit - or - what's in my bag for woolfest
My Woolfest survival kit - peanut M&M's - standard. Camera, business cards, fancy phone camera lenses, notebook and penil, pennies, lippy, juice. Ready to go! Not pictured: phone, map, excitement, plan of attack.

fleece sale at woolfest
While I was waiting for Penny to arrive I went to check out the fleece sale - it was very strange - people were buying and selling these sacks of fleece, straight of the sheep - it all seemed very interesting, with people bartering and cash changing hands like they were dealing!! 

alpacas at woolfest
I also went to check out the alpacas which I think are me new favourite animal - well apart from owls!! Look at these cuties!!

We started off with a coffee while working out a plan of action using the programme, then we had a 'structured wander' around, before I pootled off to do a workshop on Tunisian crochet. After I learned my new skill we had the yummiest lunch followed by a bit more wander, spending of money and chatting to some of the stall holders.

buttons at woolfest
Buttons! Hundreds of buttons! (I didn't get the name of this stall unfortunately)

Thread of Life crochet stand at Woolfest demonstrating Tunisian Crochet
This is the lovely Helen from the Thread of Life stand teaching us all how to do Tunisian Crochet - I picked it up super fast and was showing some of the other people there how to do it! Check out that crochet skirt!

my sample of tunisian crochet from thread of life workshop
And here is my sample of Tunisian Crochet - not too bad! I bought the hook so I can do some more at home, I just need to find some patterns now!

I definitely had my favourite stalls that I have been stalking online since I got back. I wish I had more pennies to spend on wool and stuff! It would be very easy to spend hundreds of pounds at Woolfest! What I will do so as not to bombard you with another three million photos is do separate posts on each of these stands:

easyknits.co.uk stand at woolfest - bright colours of yarn and wool
I couldn't believe how colourful the Easyknits stand was - it was a riot of rainbow colours! I bought one of the varigated yarns in this photo - can you guess which one?

H-anne-MADE textile art stand at woolfest
I was initially attracted to the H-anne-MADE stand because of Anne's use of maps in her art, but to be honest everything on this stand was beautiful! And Anne herself is the loveliest lady!


the natural dye studio - a wall of colourful wool silk yarn
 The beautiful examples of crochet shawls and blankets on The Natural Dye Studio's stand is what caught my attention initially, but the yarn was so pretty and squishy and all made with natural dyes (hence the name!). 

Bangladesh hand embroidery sophie pattinson
 I just wanted to talk about this fantastic woman - Sophie Pattinson - who runs Bangladesh Hand Embroidery. This stand had the most beautiful hand embroidered throws, cushions and little lavender pouches. They are all designed by Sophie and then hand embroidered by women in Bangladesh as part of an income generating project to support women living in remote areas of Bangladesh.

So I will add in links to the more in detail posts above when I've posted them. If you stayed with me this long then well done, that was a big post!! 

But if I haven't bored you to tears with Woolfest talk, you can go and have a look at Amanda's post on her blog over here [click].

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1 July 2014

Sticky9 Giveaway Winner!!

Hello Lovelies!

This morning I put all of the names in a hat a spreadsheet and used the random number generator to pick a winner at random. Here's the spreadsheet:




 - and that winner is ........

*drum roll

The Lovely Jo from The Perfect Hiding Place!! You were lucky number 5!!


Yay! Congratulations Jo! Hope you enjoy your Instagram magnets!

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17 June 2014

32 before 32

Hello Lovelies!


So last week I shared my 31 before 31 list wherein I managed to do 12 out of 31 things! I asked you lovely lot to suggest some things to add to my 32 before 32 list, and I've carried over a few from the 31 before 31 list as well, plus a few random new ones too!!

1. Make a dress for Zoe
2. Bake one of my Gran's recipes
3. Make a video of my Gran telling me how to bake one of her lovely cakes
4. Climb Snowdon
5. Climb Ben Nevis
6. Climb Hellvelyn
7. Climb Blencathra
8. Finish crocheting the rainbow granny square blanket
9. Finish of the crochet bunting for Zoe's room
10. Finish the crochet socks I started in May
11. Walk around Buttermere
12. Go to Woolfest
13. Go to Yarndale
14. Visit Glasgow
15. Visit Bruges
16. Visit Wales
17. Start making a patchwork quilt
18. Start a crochet ripple blanket
19. Find a nice pattern and crochet a shawl with lovely wool
20. Make 20 sales, either on Etsy, Folksy or in real life
21. Update the branding for The Dusty Attic
22. Meet some new fellow bloggers in real life
23. Interact more on-line (commenting and twitter are the main 2)
24. Take more film photos on all my film cameras (and get them developed)
25. Cook a Tagine. From scratch.
26. Make a wedding photo album/photo book
27. Put other photos in photo albums
28. Re-decorate the kitchen
29. Re-decorate our bedroom
30. Expand my shop's product range
31. Go on a craft course
32. Do a life drawing class


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