Sunday, May 26, 2013


I signed up for Postcrossing about three years ago but only sent a few cards before having Emmett and pretty much completely forgetting about it. The other day I was inspired by searching #postcrossing on Instagram and decided to give it another go. 

Also, I can totally understand the addictive quality of washi tape!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

{beautiful design - knit fail}

I have a new favourite designer on Ravelry - Yarn-Madness. Her baby/toddler/children's patterns are absolutely adorable! Right after Alice was born I started knitting a Baby Blizzard but put it aside to crochet a rabbit requested by my mom in hopes of finishing it before she went home (didn't happen). I just pulled the Blizzard back out's already too small! I started the three month size and am not one for worrying too much about gauge. Ah, well.

I love the yarn, though, and the stitch pattern that's done on one side so I think I'll try the largest size eventually. I have three of her other patterns queued already: Tagg, Surpris and Morpheus.

First I probably should sew buttons on and take pictures of what I already have knitted (LOTS) before they're all too small as well!

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I'm writing this using the BlogPress app so that I can still post easily via my phone but include links which the Blogger app doesn't provide. It's not as pretty as the Blogger app and I can't find a preview option so I'll be interested to see how this turns out! I just figured out one downside: you have to have your tags preset on Blogger because you can't add new ones on this app. Bit of a pain but we'll see.

P.S. found the preview!

Emily x

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

{close as I get to interior decorating}

Well, it took me a bit longer to get back here than I thought it would! Now that my mom and dad have gone back to the states, I'm trying to learn how to do things with a baby and a two and a half year old. Dinner baffles me. Without fail, the baby is howling while I'm trying to cook even though she's just been fed. And to think there was a time (when I was much much younger) that I would have liked to have had four or five kids!

I did manage to take a photo of the fireplace today, though. Thank goodness for camera phones and blogging apps! 

In my heart my decorating style is retro, full of bright colours. In reality I can never really pull it off. We covered our couches (with sheets) last month and I was tempted to cover them in a muted red but just couldn't bring myself to do it. They ended up light brown and I'm going to blame the hope that spills and spit up won't show so easily.

Still, I'm pretty pleased with the fireplace. I found the picture at a charity shop for ten pounds. The pitcher and pots are charity shop finds, too, but the pussy willow branches were the best deal: Mom found them at Tesco or Waitrose in the clearance flowers for 19 pence! I'm hoping they'll stick around even though they're not in water (they're actually in half a kitchen roll tube surrounded by waded kitchen roll). The curtain hides a nonfunctional fireplace in desperate need of a coat of paint and the fabric is some leftover from the quilt Mom made for Emmett. I'd really like to find a fourth teapot so each member of our family is represented (goofy, I know) and I have my eye out for a couple of plates to hang above the picture. 

In real life - where half our living room is a playroom - a wooden table and two chairs (one a bear, the other a frog) sit in front of the curtain, a basket of diaper changing paraphernalia sits to the left and, to the right, a tub of Hot Wheels. It still looks better than a black hole with paint peeling, oddly, in the shape of Ohio!

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Book Goodness

Thanks to a recommendation from my friend Ginny, I just finished an excellent YA book called The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey. Aliens wiping out the human race. Parts of it even took place in Dayton, Ohio where I'm from which was kind of weird. It's heartbreakingly the first book in yet another trilogy but an excellent read even if the next book doesn't come out for a year. 

I have a stack of charity shop paperbacks to read but they'll have to wait since Joe Hill's new book NOS4R2 just came out. His last book, Horns, was excellent and this is, so far, pretty creepy and more like one of his dad's (Stephen King) books than any of his others. 

What are you reading these days?

Emily x

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

{plans but no promises}

I was quite pleased to see this Tolstoy quote when I took a sneaky peek at the page for May on my calendar several days ago. 

Spring is the time of plans and projects.

Over the past few months, I've been thinking a lot about blogging and what it means to me now. I've been blogging for about ten years in one place or another. I started with a personal blog at DiaryLand (which would probably be pretty embarassing to read now if it still existed) and then moved to LiveJournal where I also started a craft blog. Then the craft blog became my only blog - mixing both the crafty and personal - and I moved to Typepad where I've been ever since, under either the name Dainty Kitty or Viking Tea Party. Then I had a baby and the blogging slowed down. I just checked and I've posted 43 times in two and a half years. In my second to last post I announced that I was pregnant with my second. As I type this, she's three weeks old and snoring away in her travel cot. Sigh.

I decided to make one more move to Blogger because I just couldn't see paying £40 odd pounds per year to Typepad for a blog I wasn't using. I didn't want to give it up totally because it wasn't that I didn't want to blog at all. I miss it and sometimes find myself composing posts while I'm doing the dishes or some other chore that means putting my hands on a laptop is impossible. I want to blog more. I knitted like a crazy, two needled fiend in the the last few months of my pregnancy with Alice. Cardigans and hats - LOTS of hats - galore! I want to take pretty photos of each project and share them. Thanks to my parents who are here visiting, I've even done a bit of sewing since she was born: a curtain for our non-functional fireplace and a sweet pair of bloomers for the baby girl.  So that's the 'craft' part of the new name. 'Eat', well, I love to bake. It keeps me sane. Later today I have plans to make a three layer dark chocolate cake with cream cheese icing and I can't wait. And 'cuddle' - I have a two and a half year old and a newborn so there's lots of cuddling.

I'm not going to make myself any promises but I want this to be place I get to visit a little more often. I want to make it cosy and simple and full of things that I like. I want to find a voice I'm comfortable with for who I am now: a wife and mother, a woman in her late thirties, a knitter/crocheter/sewer/hands in this and that, an American living in England...but we'll see. Lots of plans but no promises.

Emily x