Monday, 27 February 2012

Last week was quite surreal. All good, just a lot to take in. So when it comes to reviewing what has been done, well not a lot. I am still DESPERATELY trying to finish Winnowing - well actually the border, which is so clever. It is taking me forever, and it is literally eating yarn. I am now rewarding myself if I do one repeat of charts B & C every night. Yes, it has come to this - does nayone do it like this for project they are struggling with?  I am thinking that I need to re-order some Rowan Kidsilk Aura, nooooo. Everyone who has seen the project in real is impressed, I am on the other hand fed up. 

Winnowing in progress on Saturday night

So I was glad to receive I receive this picture in my inbox today... 

Note, it is a German friend who sent it... 

Hope you all had a good Monday! 

Friday, 24 February 2012

How much verification do we need?

Did you notice that blogger now asks you to prove you are not a robot by typing two 'words' (they are not actual word, are they?). I had the same problem, until Lucy 'kindly' told me to turn it off. As it annoys me as well when I want to comment, I did a bit of research and turned it off. I have the embedded comment setting for my comments. 

yes the fuzzy font and its size do not help either 

So please, if you are also annoyed to have to give two words to justify you are not a robot - stop your own verification system... It is simple, and here is how you do it.. 

If you are still on the old Dashboard Interface, just skip to Step 2.  Otherwise, start below at Step 1.

1.  Go to your OVERVIEW page, click on the ‘wrench’ icon (far top right corner of your overview page) and select Old Blogger Interface

2. You are back to your old Dashboard, select SETTINGS

3. In the SETTINGS tab you have a few sub-tabs, select COMMENTS

4. Scroll down, you will find word verification yes or no >>>>>> NO


6. Go back to your DASHBOARD, just above the dashboard box, above the language box, you have 'try the updated Blogger interface'. You are back!! 

7. Lucy as prepared a little widget for your blog to show that you turned off your word verification.. Add it to your blog!  


I turned it off last weekend, and I have not had any spam (and you may say it is because I don't have as many visitors as other blogs) but I'd rather have to deal with spams and comments, rather than no comment because people are annoyed with my blog.. 

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Place mat tutorial

 The Valentine's Day place mats I mentioned last Wednesday are finally finished! I was not sure about the binding and in the end used the colour of the writing. The pink fabric is from Summersville available at Etsy

 So how did I write the quote on the linen fabric and followed the Wit and Whistle tutorial. Here is what you need: 

  • Linen fabric
  • Fabric Marker Pen (Sharpie pen)
  • Letter stencil

I would advise you to put pages underneath...

Here we are.. Simple really. Let me know if you are making one!

It is Wednesday... Just... SO I am linking up to WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced. Placemats are finished, yeah! I can move on to the next quilt - involving shirts and upcycling, more on this next week...

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Britain in our Kitchen Unplugged {Pancake Day Special}

Project_Goddess mentioned on her blog of a food bloggers challenge which is going on at the moment, called Food Bloggers Unplugged. The aim is to learn a little more about the foodies we follow on Twitter or read about on their blogs. My blog, and especially this blog, is not a 'food blog', but this is such a big part of my life now because of our Britain in our Kitchen challenge that I thought it would be good to enter - on pancake day . As I am finding it increasingly hard to cope with two blogs this is where my entry is!

Picture from the Good Housewife's Encyclopedia, 1963 
What, or who inspired you to start a blog?

It is actually a film - but I suppose blogging related - Julie and Julia with Meryl Streep and Amy Adams. Thinking about it now, it is quite funny that it is a food related film. 

Who is your foodie inspiration?

Mamy (yes the one and only, my Grandma for those who missed the Christmas knitting adventure) - for the full fat contents, the fact that the concept of being vegetarian escaped her totally ('but surely rabbit is OK') and the fact that she would wake up at 5am just to to cook, I mean hello that is serious commitment to cooking. I find it hard to relate to chefs if I am honest, I love eating their food but for the home... not really. My other Grandma made some amazing cakes, pancakes and the best ever ever macaroni cheese. She was a good cook, but less interested in the enjoyment of food I suppose. 

Your greasiest, batter-splattered food/drink book is?

Marmiton for the French recipe and BBC Good Food for the British ones. I am also starting to have some vintage cooking books (I really want the Julia Childs one of course)... And I think the one I bought over the weekend, the Good HouseKeeping's Cookery Compedium first published 1952. For the Britain in our Kitchen challenge it is brilliant because it does everything from scratch with mostly British ingredients - nothing fancy, just very good basics. 

The latest book on my selves
Also our friends prepared as a surprise wedding present a cooking book with their favourite recipes. The first one being secret pancake recipe. 

Tell us all about the best thing you have ever eaten in another country, where was it, what was it?

I think it would have to be either in Thailand during our honeymoon - grilled squid or a Green curry from a small bar/restaurant on the beach - or in Morocco - we were invited (not sure how we manage to gate crash that event) to an event in a riad and they had some wonderful canapes influenced by French and Morrocan cuisine. Oh, also when I worked in Vietman, I was invited to one of my colleagues' home - delicious Vietnamese food.

Another food blogger’s table you’d like to eat at is?

would love to eat with someone at the smitten kitchen. 

What is the one kitchen gadget you would ask Santa for this year (money no object of course)?

I am not sure that the problem is really money - but space, I would love a combi oven. Oh and I need a pressure cooker as well. 

Who taught you how to cook?

Surprise, surprise my Grandma. She brought me up so that was bound to happen really. I suppose Mum also helped me with the basics - then you sort of learn along the way. 

I’m coming to you for dinner. What’s your signature dish?

I do a mean fish pie, but at the moment it is probably the pearl barley leek and bacon risotto - because it is usually unexpected. I suppose if it was tonight, it would be pancakes though (Grandma no2 secret pancake recipe). 

What is your guilty food pleasure?

Cheese - all of them. I am terrible. I am sure I could live on cheese, actually I should have done that challenge - one year eating cheese.

Reveal something about yourself that others would be surprised to learn?

That is quite tough... ok here it is. I have no Jamie Oliver book, not one. I really liked him, but there is so much Jamie Oliver a girl can take. 

If you fancy having a go at answering the questions, do so on your blog and link in the comments below. I'd love to see your answers.

Friday, 17 February 2012

Latest Pins to Inspire

I thought it would be fun to share some of my latest pins - pinterest is really so full of inspiration. This is a bit of a mix, I hope you will enjoy it

1. This cute DIY for putting away my current crochet projects - what do we reckon, 20 minutes max? 

2. I love that outfit. I really need a red polka dot top and green trousers - I should not work, but totally does. And that bag..  This is definitely on my sewing project for March (I am finally taking a course!!)

3. Thinking Easter Eggs au naturel...I think that would be a hit for Britain in our Kitchen

4. I am officially in love with Anthology27 on Etsy and any of the earrings. 
Interesting colour coordination - not one of my obsessions? 

 5. And finally I want the squirrels in my garden to be this funny! 

So, what has inspired you this week? 

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

In progress and a real IT achievement (for me)! (Updated!)

It is Wednesday, and therefore it is W.I.P. Wednesday over at Freshly Pieced. 

What to report ... I made some progress with my two placemats for Valentine's Day (yes that would be for yesterday... or 14th Feb 2013 as the case may be now). Actually I saw it coming and I did not over do it on the hearts, so we may be able to use them before next year. 

The left hand side fabric is from Summersville on Etsy,
and right hand side one some linen fabric bought on Amazon

A tutorial to come on how I printed the quote on the linen fabric. Who can guess what it says? 

I can report NO progress on the shirt patchwork ... so there is no point to talk about it. 

I also need to make something out of these fabulous scraps I received from Indianna Dreams. As none of us really had some scraps, we decided to swap some fabric pieces. I was SO excited about it. She chose so well for me - look at all the grey and yellow. Need to put on my thinking cap now... 

Winnowing is on its way, I am at that stage when I misjudged how much yarn I needed, and I am waiting, anxiously I may add, for that package. 

Winnowing waiting to be finished

FINALLY! I do have a button you can grab on the right-hand side bar... It took me AGES to get there... for something that is quite easy in the end... But everyone seems to have a different way to do it. (Sorry for those who came on this post before the updated version, it did not work, it should be fixed now and you can actually have your button...)

Anyway here are the steps I followed (a mix of different helpful blogger suggestions):

1. Choose your picture (I used my banner one... made sense right). I edited the picture with Picnik. 

2. I resized it to 125x 150 (should not be bigger than 150 to make sure it fits on other bloggers side bars)

3. Upload the picture to an online photo gallery service. I tried through Picasa, but my picture never appeared in the end (if someone managed to resolve that problem, please let me know). So I used Photobucket in the end - it is free and very fast. You get the HTML of your picture on the right hand-side.

4.Got to layout in blogger, to the design bar, and add an HTML gadget to the place you want your button to show. 

5. You can add a title ('Grab my button')

6. Copy the HTML Code you can find here

7. Paste the above HTML Code into the HTML gadget

8. Replace YOUR WEB ADDRESS by your blog address

9. Replace BLOG TITLE by a blog title of your choice (mine says Inspirations for Handmade)

10. Replace the IMAGE HTML ADDRESS by the HTML Code you found on Photobucket

11. Save it, test it and let me know how you got on! 

Monday, 13 February 2012

Giveaway Winner and some crafty randomness

I am back! I hope you enjoyed having the guest posts from Lucy at Charm about You, Popbabe7 and Emma. Thank you so much girls for keeping things running in my absence! 

Now what is it all about this randomness (I was not going to start by the winner, right!)? I finally had a chance to see the patchwork/cross-stitch plaid I made my parents two years ago. It is sitting on their couch in the Alps - totally in context obviously. 

So the cross-stitched cow trail (that you can sort of make out at the top left of the plaid) was the original purchase. I bought it with my Mum, oohhh 7 years ago (at least - the shop does not exist anymore), I finished it 2 years and a half ago.. and could have just framed it (It was hard enough to do to deserve it!). But no! Why do simple when you can over-complicate things? I decided that it would look very good on a plaid. It is OK, but the best piece is really that cross-stitch, let's face it... I may have over-complicated things.   

Apart from that I also found a picture of me - for those who want to know what I look like. This is totally representative of course.. as I was probably 2 in that picture (a family favourite, everyone has at least 2 in their houses). All I can say is thank you L'Oreal for bringing some natural blond highlights in my life, and thank you straighteners for getting rid of this locks I struggle with every morning. 

That dress my Mum and Mamy's favourite,
and they like it SO MUCH they keep buying more for
my non-existent children (yes they do and are open about it!)

Finally, the giveaway winner. You remember there was a lovely print from IOTA Illustration to win ... I decided not to go for as I was concerned that the first or last entries would not get picked. M was slightly worried that the participants who did not win would track him down (I can give you his work address if you want...). Here is the innocent hand... 

M is getting in the spirit of Valentine's Day (balloons from Paperchase)

Anyway, unfortunately there could be only one winner, and that is

So Sarah at Almost Delightful, I will be in touch with you and this is all going to get to you very soon. 

I am hoping to run more giveaways as I loved running. I have a new target in mind.. So stay tune and follow me! 

Friday, 10 February 2012

What does blogging means to me - by Emma

The blogging web

Hey everyone! So we’ve made it to Friday – yay!

Emma here from Gawgus Things having the honour of Guest Posting whilst Nat is off having fun!

It’s been fun reading all the other posts that have been popping up in Nat’s absence and today it’s my turn to tell you what blogging means to me!

I started regularly blogging in October 2010. I’d started reading other blogs a few months before and loved them so much that I really wanted to be part of the blogging scene.

I’ve been extremely lucky since I’ve started blogging in that I’ve only ever had positive experiences with my fellow bloggers. I know, I know, you haven’t succeeded unless you’ve received at least one negative comment so I’ve still got a way to go ;)

Since I’ve started blogging I’ve been overwhelmed by the amount of talent that is out there. Whether it’s how someone has styled an outfit, a DIY that they’ve done, a skill that they’ve shared or a place that they’ve visited; I’m still amazed every day by what I come across.

I feel like I’m learning every day from people I’ve unfortunately never met, or likely to either, but I love it when you get a connection with someone (hey, Nat!) and feel that a genuine friendship is building.

I love the support you get if you’re feeling a bit down or want advice on something or help on how to do something. Everyone is so open and eager to help you either feel better or get a task done.

The blogging world has made me push boundaries, open my eyes and given me the courage to just go for it! Thank you all for this, I give you a big cheer and hugs all round J

Don’t forget there’s still time to enter Nat’s fantastic giveaway. Just click here for details!!

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

My thoughts on blogging (Popbabe7)

Hi everyone I'm hijacking Noa's Libellule blog for today! For those of you who don't know me, my blogging ID is Popbabe7 and you can find me here. We've been old blogging buddies now, and when she requested me to guest post I felt very privileged as she is just so fabulous!

I have been known to start a blog, write a couple of posts, cringe when re-reading them and then deleting the whole thing altogether, hoping that nobody other than me read it!!! I bet most of us did that didn't we? It is very hard to start a blog, and unless you have a clear idea of what you want to write about this is just going to be a collection of random posts (some people are great at it- I am not!). I felt more at ease when my blog got a "direction" and I started writing about learning to sew and knit. It even got easier when I started my "A Project A Week" in 2011. Overall I did a good job at updating regularly my blog, and blogging has become a bit of a second nature to me now. Even when I haven't been busy myself I try to share my thoughts, and will include pictures that inspire me.

Some of my projects from"A Project A Week"

The best bit about blogging for me is meeting new people. I always get very excited when someone takes the time to leave a comment about one of my posts, and I also love to discover new blogs who will inspire me. Back in December I had my first blogger meet-up and had a fantastic day- highly recommended!! Because sewing and knitting tend to be "solitary" hobbies (unless you join a knitting group) it is lovely to know that there are some people out there sharing the same passion, and willing to pass on some of their wisdom should you get stuck on a project! Did I also mention that the people in the craft community are the nicest people ever?? I have blogged about things that have gone terribly wrong, because I'm quite honest and hoped that maybe I would get some help from crafters more experienced and more talented than me. All I got was kind words of encouragement- which is really good when you are not so confident!!

You also know that people who blog about something are truly interested in it. Is it just me who found myself getting all excited about a knitting pattern/ sewing project only to be met with a blank/ amused stare from my partner/ colleagues? At least on blogs you can oooohh and ahhhh over a finished project without other people being worried for your sanity!

Finally I was asked to provide a picture which will sum up my idea of blogging. I am a notoriously bad photographer- most some of the pics on my blog are atrocious, so I pinched a picture from Shakespeare and Company, a library in France. I often see the internet as a giant town with all its good and bad things, big shops, small shops, dark areas, luxury quarters and so on. In this town, blogs are little clusters of knowledge and passion, scattered on virtual library shelves.I thought this was the perfect picture to represent my idea of the blogging community.



That's it from me! Before you go, don't forget to enter Noas' Libellule fantastic giveaway- you still have time to enter and share your thoughts about what blogging means to you. Thanks for reading my ramblings!!


Monday, 6 February 2012

What the blog?

Hello Noas' Libellule readers and visitors! I'm Lucy and I blog at Charm About You.

Charm About You

I'll be taking over this space today so I hope you don't mind!

I've been asked to share a little about what blogging means to me. I've been thinking about it a lot and it's really hard not to come off cheesy or just end up repeating what countless others say. Nathalie said I could include a picture, which helps because that's sometimes the best way to explain something.

My husband took this picture of my son some time ago,
he's looking through a cardboard box!
I blog about my quilting, this is not a sewing related picture and yet I immediately knew that this picture best represents how I feel about blogging.

There's a sense of exploration; of myself, my creativity, growth, skills and possibilities.

I feel like blogging is a way of looking out into the world, framing myself in the process. Connecting with others, telling my story, sharing my sewing journey.

The light is so crucial to this picture and blogging for me has created so much light. I don't have to hark on to people who aren't interested in my sewing, I have a place to share with like minded people, I have encouragement, support and friends. I follow and read so many interesting blogs, I feel inspired every day seeing people's creations, discovering techniques and learning so much from everyone. It's led me to challenge myself, to do things I wouldn't have even considered on my own and to begin to develop my own sewing and writing style.

There's a dreamy, pensive quality to this picture too. I'm a full time mum and despite the fact I adore what I do there's a longing to fulfill another part of myself - for me quilting and blogging are something I do that's mine. I ponder, I prepare, I sew, I make, I write, I share. Those rays of light are those wonderful cables that link me to all of you!
(I knew this would end up being cheesy)

I've been very lucky since I started blogging last year and wanted to help spread some joy (or not!!). I'm having a Fugly Fabric Party over on my blog starting tomorrow, I'd love for you to come and check it out!

Charm About You

Also if you haven't already seen it you must immediately go and enter Nathalie's giveaway - the girl has seriously good taste! Must be why we're friends ;)

Friday, 3 February 2012

It is GIWEAWAY time

It is Fridaaayyyyy!! And it is GIVEAWAY time! I am so excited guys, I cannot tell you ... It took me a bit of time to figure out what I wanted to be giving away. I thought yarn or fabric (obvious), and then thought that it might be restricting, not everyone reading my blog is into this... back to the drawing board. I also post a lot on what I want to display in my house.. and I thought a print from an Etsy artist would be brilliant, and really in keeping with the blog.

I wanted a print that represented my vision of blogging - a way to reach out and be connected to a community I would not necessarily be in touch with otherwise. I work in a totally different field, and this is a way to express my own creativity in the evening and share it with like-minded people. I thought Ollie's print encapsulated how I feel about this blog.

Out on the Lark by IOTA Illustration

So as you may have gathered this is not a sponsored giveaway as I wanted to choose freely what the prize was going to be. The winner will have a limited edition illustration titled - 'Out on a Lark' printed on the finest archival matte canvas paper. The print is part of a limited edition of 50 and comes numbered, signed and titled by hand by the artist! it is a very me print to be honest. I hope you like it too!

What do you need to do to enter:

1. You need to be a follower (through Twitter, BlogLovin', Google friends)
2. Leave me a comment letting me know how you follow the blog
3. In your comment let me know what blogging means to you
4. If you tweet about it (and copy me @NoasLibellule) you can enter a second time by commenting about your tweet.

The GIVEAWAY finishes on Sunday 12th at 12 when I am back from holiday - leaves people more than a week to come and comment. M, the ever innocent hand, will pick a winner.

Good luck guys!

 - This Giveaway is now finished, and Sarah at Almost Delightful won it, follow me there may be a next giveaway - 

Thursday, 2 February 2012

{Pay and Display} Our House

All I can say is that the Boy has done well. He takes his time, but then it all comes out beautifully - even with the wackiest of my ideas! So here are some of the things you will now find on our walls.

This map is the vintage map I believed I talked about in September - we bought in a flea market in France, so beautiful with striking colours. Yes that big yellow blob is Paris. No I could not bear cutting into it, but I think it is beautiful in new frame (all painted by M - in the freezing garage, bless). We negotiated a bit on what should be included, I am a south bank girl, M wanted to see Montreuil (where his Grandparents lived at some point), I wanted to see St-Germain-des-Pres because we went to a wedding there. However we agreed we wanted the legende on the side, which is the most vintage part. Voila, a much less bland guest room!

This is a controversial one to include. I added this Ferm Living wall sticker whilst M was away, and he took an instant dislike to it. Except that everyone who came to visit likes it. It remained.. I think it has grown on him. Isn't it beautiful?

Finally the racket has been bought at a bargain price on Ebay and has made its way to our house, and soon on the wall with all my dangling earrings. I may need another one, this was a bit of a squeeze. From inspiration to implementation...

What do you think?

Are you excited about tomorrow, yes the giveaway is still happening tomorrow. Not sure today's post gives you any clues about what it will be but it does, to a certain reflect my style, it is for your house, but you don't need your partner's help to make it happen... All to be revealed tomorrow!!

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

The Awkward and Awesome of my Happiness Project

it is the time of the month to review my Happiness Project. Let me remind ourselves of what I signed up for at the beginning of January.

Sidney at the Daybook has a weekly post on her Awkward and Awesome Thursdays. I thought that this would be a very good way to review January.

So let's start by some Awkward moments in January:

- Going to bed early (earlier than M) and not being able to fall asleep because I am thinking too much of how I should be asleep - like right now (M coming 2 hours later in bed, with me still very much awake).
- Having a HUGE row (slamming of doors and tears - French style row) about a coffee machine (yes a coffee machine) in our kitchen because it creates clutter (my argument being that we don't use it, M that we could one day).
- Organise the house for M not to notice
- Not being able to prioritise nagging tasks and get overwhelmed by it (same day as coffee machine disaster)
- Tackling my washing basket, only for tea towels to become blue from the jeans I washed with them - brilliant. Where is my Mum when I need her?

Awesome moments

- My bank statements are finally filed! and the house looks definitely less cluttered (except for the coffee machine). Has a very big impact on my mood.
- I started Pilates to help with my knee (minor injury due to running) and really enjoyed it!
- Going on long walks with M - exercise and quality time, total win win.
- Finally send documents claiming back some money - shopping here I come
- Worked out, at grand age of 33 that yes slicing a task into mini-tasks really helps.
- M saying that I have more energy - yeah!!

February is the month of LOVE!! And there may be an extreme nice week ... More to come at the end of the month! All I can tell you Valentine's Day will be OTT this year! There will be balloons, a themed menu, etc...

Apart from that, all is set for Friday's GIVEWAY - I actually know what it will be, and I am SO excited about it!! I hope you will be too!!