Monday, 21 February 2011

It's Monday

So let's see, I am on the BBC webiste, and what is the weather forecast for this week -

Today: Light Rain,

Tuesday: Drizzle Rain,

Wednesday: Heavy Rain,

Thursday (in Frankfurt for work): Heavy snow (WHAT????),

Friday (STILL in Frankfurt for work): Drizzle...

Weekend: My parents arrive to see progress on the house... Hmmmm, should not have put all of my pictures on facebook and could have pretended there was LOADS of progress.

So there is only ONE thing to do. I am changing my background picture to the picture we (I - M keeps thinking it is a joint effort, yeah right, talking doesn't help taking pictures) took in September in le Touquet when we went away as a family for a spa weekend (yes we all went, the three generations; grandparents, parents, husband and brother) ...

This is the view from our room... I can just see be there again, with a book and tea, and some knitting (well crochet if I remember well)..

Happy Monday guys!

Thursday, 17 February 2011

Home inspiration 19

You know it, as you have seen in the previous post (sorry for the rant about builders, I just had enough of it) we are (nearly) at the decoration stage of the house. And the dilemma is here: painting or wallpaper? Argghhh... I can paint (well, my first experience was not really conclusive but it was not too bad) but putting up some wallpaper - well that is just scary.

And then I found THIS wallpaper:

Knitted room by Surface view

Well that is serious inspiration for next knitting projects (I am still knitting, I am really). It looks like the D&G winter collection on the wall for you to see everyday! The different designs are created by Chae Young Kim, A Korean-born, London-based artist. Check out the homepage of her website, it is very inspiring.

So of course this is right up my street, but M... well he is 1) a man, 2) a man, and 3) well a man. He only agreed to add some colours to the walls. Let's say - as far as the wallpaper is concerned - it will take some convincing. But I may get away with it in the 'hobby'/office room (aka the box room).

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

New house update - the kitchen

Well, we are nearly there.. No, it doesn't matter that the builders have left the job unfinished (and I have not slept for days), or that the frige/freezer (and the sink tap and the door handles - what are there for, anyway) have not been delivered with the rest of the kitchen... I can see the end - I need to do, I have to hand back the keys of my current home in 2 weeks and a half.

And I can report a lot of progress... Just a reminder we started with these two rooms (I know it does not look that bad - but the hot air heating system took a lot of space and vents were everywhere. Btw kitchen is not wonky only the person taking the pictures, ie moi) :

We went through this (and this is the point when I really questionned my judgement, what was I thinking??):

To, as of today (well Sunday - but because of builders' sudden disappearance, it has not changed since), this:

The kitchen is NOT blue - this is the protective film that 'protects' my lovely oyster units. I did check, you can take it off, all fine, pheww.

The UFO hanging from the ceiling is our extractor purchased at a bargain price (you got it, no one wanted it and nor did I for a while). It is in fact stainless steel - not white (protective films again).

The white balance on my camera has been set wrong, and my kitchen is not orange... I promise it is the camera and taking pictures at night.

The 'runway lights' are due to M getting annoyed at low ceilings (apparently new houses are not meant for tall people - never had that problem, I am 5'2 so do not know what he is on about). we have different settings so it will not always be that bright.

You will notice the missing tiles (white metro tiles) and the absence of two units (fridge and freezer). My builders assure me that it is only bits and pieces left to do (really, doesn't look like it from where I am standing... ).

So what do you think guys? I know it is not finished, but we are getting there...

Monday, 14 February 2011


Yesterday, it came to me, I thought that we (I - M already bought me flowers that made three different bouquets!) should really try to make an effort, after all it is our first Valentine's Day since the we got married.
It is really not a lot, so nothing to get too excited about - but I can see great things coming out of this little project (think Christmas)! (plus it is making great pictures). I will use it on the table for decoration.

So it is pretty easy. First, you cut out circles of different sizes, or same sizes, different colours (or not). I am sure there are things out there that make proper disks of the same size, I don't have any of that - so that was the most boring bit.

Then sew two circles of the same size together and keep sewing in-between baubles. I actually really like sewing through the paper (I am clearly publicly weird now).
Et voila!! An hour, and Bob is your uncle (why on earth Bob would be my uncle, I don't know, but it is a funny say).

Something for Valentine's Day

I have already talked about one of the presents I was preparing for M. There is another one on the way - but it is really recycling something we have and that I don't like as it is - so I am not sure it qualifies as 'his' Valentine's Day present.

The playlist for L'Esprit des Voisins is now finalised and in fact burnt onto the CD, with the cover and about to be used - as we are about to move in in the new house (yes you read well, I still cannot believe it will happen but our current house has now been rented out as from beginning of March, so I suppose that is it).

It is not exactly a Valentine's Day playlist (Dry your eyes by the Streets is not exactly lovey-dovey) - it is meant to be background music. Some titles had to go (Adele - Rolling in the deep, broke my heart to leave out, especially when M decided to tell that he LOVED it yesterday, arghhhhh!!).


1. Josephine - A freak A
2. The Streets – Dry your eyes
3. Rogue Wave – Lake Michigan
4. Snow Patrol – Run
5. Rumer – Slow
6. The Beautiful South – Song for Whoever
7. Matt Cardle – When we Collide
8. Fleet Foxes – White Winter Hymnal
9. Hurts – Wonderful Life
10. Iron & Wine – Jezebel
11. Voxtrot – the Start of Something
12. Calexico – Two Silver Trees
13. Lykke Li – I’m Good, I’m Gone
14. Neutral Milk Hotel – In the Aeroplane over the Sea
15. Weezer – Island in the Sun
16. The Xx – Islands
17. Belle and Sebastian – Like Dylan in the Movies
18. Jeremy Larson – Self-esteem
19. Iain Archer – Everything I’ve Got
20. Noah and the Whale – 5 years time

I love the idea that I chose all the titles of my CD, so much so that I am preparing another one with more rock/indie titles (yes, Adele will be featuring on it, and also the Artic Monkeys and the Pigeon Detectives...) .. and I may have to indulge in a bit of pop music.

Friday, 11 February 2011

It's Friday!!!

It has been a very long week - full of meetings and late night at work, and more trips to DIY stores (the only type of shopping I get to do these days) and then I ended it up on this video - and I really want to be on that island in the sun! Still a bit surprised by the monkey throwing..

Next week is going to be better, and I am hoping to be able to show you a couple of things I am working on (at the slowest snail pace ever..). Hope you all had a good week, and look forward to the weekend!

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

CD cover - Playing with Cross-Polarisation

M had to be somewhere last night and I finally had a chance to play with my camera (a Canon 450D SLR) and my newly acquired polarised lens.

I have been looking at cross-polarisation for a long time now and never had the time to sit down, and try to work it out. As the polarised lens is a gift from M, I thought that the CD cover could show him how I got on with my new gadget. The technique is simple, once you get over step 1 - which took me forever to understand.

You need a computer (I did it with a laptop but I think that next time I will use my TV as a monitor), a tripod or a lot of books, a plastic object and (it is not necessary but useful) a remote control for your camera.

1. I used MS Word, opened the software and removed the blank document - you will get a 'neutral' (grey) background. Be sure to turn the brightness all the way up.

2. Cover all sources of light coming from your computer - a black felt sheet should do the trick.

3. Position the plastic item in front and in the centre of the monitor. I used a couple of plastic boxes I had in my kitchen cupboards and a ruler - I was really running out of plastic things. I saw some people using straws and it looks awesome.

This is not my drawing but really useful

4. Attach the polarising filter to you camera and position the camera in front of the plastic so all you see is an area of the plastic with the grey image totally filling the background, and avoid edges of the monitor showing.

5. Rotate the polarising filter and watch the colours of the plastic become stronger and the grey go darker. If you have it set up correctly the grey monitor will go totally black.

6. Experiment!

Here is the cover (I was supposed to show you options but I cannot find the right file...)

So what do you think? Once I got the hang of it, it was a really interesting project and I was really impressed with the results. Do let me know if you experiment as well!

Monday, 7 February 2011

My hopefully-not-so-bloody Valentine

Yes, you know it, it is this time of the year. Flowers get really expensive and so does going to the restaurant for a meal - especially that table for two near the window, and it is all pink and big hearts around us... Valentine's Day is coming and I am not a big fan ...

But as every other couple around the world, M and I will be celebrating Valentine's Day - only because it will give us a break from painting the house and any excuse will do (- at this rate we will never finish the house). However we will celebrate at home, and to cheer up M who is depressed at the idea of hearing every single conversation of our neighbours, I tried to compose his very own CD - L'esprit des voisins (the French for 'the spirit of the neighbours')

Here are some of titles to feature - a very eclectic mix:

Belle & Sebastian - Like Dylan in the Movies (the best B&S song)
Noah and the Whale (love the name) - 5 years time
Rumer - Slow
Mumford and Sons - The Cave (not so easy listening, but love the sound)
Beautiful South - Song for Whoever (classic)
Little Comets - One Night in October (watch the version where they share one guitar - genius!)
Lykke Li - I'm Good, I'm Gone (A bit weird, but in a very good way)
Neutral Milk Hotel - In the aeroplane over the sea
Adele - Rolling in the deep (you have to listent to this - it is brilliant)

What do you think? Any other titles you can think of for easy listening. I do realise there are no French title (not even in the more comprehensive list) - donc je suis ouverte a toutes autres suggestions venant de mon pays natal...

I am working on the CD cover tonight... Hopefully I will be able to show you some possible covers tomorrow.

Thursday, 3 February 2011

Home Inspiration 18

This post was not at all going to be about this company (I wanted to talk about furniture, not blankets... but I cannot help it).. I could not resist. Look at those creations, the designs I am knitting at the moments seems suddenly very... ordinary.

The Icelandic company responsible for this fancy desings is
Vík Prjónsdóttir which continues to knock out fresh stuff, in particular I’m loving their new blankets.

The layering of this Shield of Wings (pictured) and the anchored Sea Blanket is lovely.

Check out the scarf as well!!! Ok that's a bit OTT for me, but someone out there may be interested?

Well that is food for thought for my next project...

A later addition: Coninuing with the Icelandic theme, I recommend Rosa Candida written by Audur Ava Olafsdottir. It would make you love roses and maybe a simpler life. Bonus, it looks great on your bookshelves.

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Cherry House QAL - colour scheme

So excited. Got the fabric for the Cherry House QAL, and she has already posted the first instructions. Have not got time to fo anything about it though. What do you think?
This quilt will be for the bedroom.
Next step: cutting!!