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18 February 2013

A few Favourite Crochet Books...

As my obsession with crochet grows, happily so does my crochet book collection.  As it seems like a lot of my fellow bloggers enjoy crochet, or want to start to crochet I thought a little peak into some good crochet books that helped to get me started might be interesting...
 
First up, this is by far my favourite, 150 Blocks to Knit & Crochet by Heather Lodinsky.  It is so useful, instead of little projects to make it sets out pages and pages of different little motifs and designs to make.  It has every shape you can think of, perfect for when you just want to make a little something pretty or to embellish a larger project.
 
 
As you can see the book starts by setting out all the different types of shapes you can make and then refers you to the page for the full instructions.  The instruction page gives you a clear picture, which is true to size, the crochet diagram (which frankly I never understand or follow!) and then clear written instructions.  Each project is then given a ranking of 1,2 or 3 hooks depending on difficulty of the project. 
 
The back pages give you a few ideas for larger projects and how you can join your blocks together to make blankets etc.
 
I have made quite a few things from this book now, they make ideal quick and easy projects for a lazy afternoon of crochet.  I do tend to end up with lots of pretty flowers and stars but then never quite know what to do with them, but they are so addictive to make!
 
Next up is Cute and Easy Crochet by Nicki Trench.  This is a project book, and everything in it is soo pretty.  There are lots of lovely projects for the home, which are my favourite type of item to crochet.  I am a bit obsessed with making my little loft flat pretty at the moment so there are so many things I want to make from this book.  I love how the projects are set out in 3 sections according to ability, starting out, practice makes perfect and confident crocheting so the book can help in developing your skill.
 
The front of the book gives an excellent overview of stitches with easy to follow explanations and clear illustrations for the basic stitches needed to make the projects in the book.
 
This beautiful round cushion is on my list of projects to complete this year.  (It's a rather long list already and it's only February, gulp!)
 
My final book to share this time is rather 'vintage'.  Knitting Fashion by Pam Dawson (Isn't Amazon great, it has everything!). I er, borrowed (stole hehe) this book from my mum, but quite frankly learning to crochet and the stitches and techniques have not changed so it is still a really good book.
 
Like a lot of the crochet books this one starts with details about how to do each stitch, but the difference with this book to my others is that these ones are a lot more complicated, stitches and techniques I have not even heard of.  Most of these stitches are probably a bit advanced for me yet, but it is great to aspire to this level one day.
 
A lot of the projects in the book are clothes and have rather a 70's style.  I am not sure I would actually ever make something to wear (besides perhaps scarf, hat and mittens).  Would you make yourself some crochet clothes and actually wear them?  Perhaps If I get a bit better I would.  But I do think these pictures are great! Watch this space for forthcoming fashion posts with me sporting my new granny square poncho!
 
What are your fave crochet books?  I love hearing about new books to try, so please feel free to leave me some ideas in the comments...  thank you very much.
 

15 February 2013

A Little Valentine Party

So everyone is probably sick of seeing heart shaped things and hearing about Valentine's day by now, but I don't care! I like Valentine's day.  I don't make a massive effort and we don't really do presents but sometimes it's nice to make a little effort for each other and have a few little treats.  Life would be boring if everyday was the same and there were no little 'occasions' to celebrate.
I decided to do something a little different this year and instead of going out or a romantic home cooked meal we had a little valentine party with little finger food.
These squishy heart shaped jellies from M&S are sooo yummy! They didn't last very long!
A little peak at our cards and a very un-romantic valentine movie!
 
 
 

13 February 2013

This week's nails...

A couple of weeks ago I posted these nails and I do believe they are my favourite nail art design and colour combination to date.  I do love the 3 colours and wavy design, its relatively simple to do but I think looks great. 
 
I wanted to do some valentine's nails, but I don't really like little stickers on my nails or attempting to draw things on them, I prefer simple patterns and designs.  So I thought I would go for valentine colours instead.  I'm not usually a big fan for reds and pinks on my nails as it's sort of too obvious for a nail colour, I favour blues and greens usually.  But I made an exception this time...
 
Here are the colours I used.  I started with the Model's Own bright pink, I was annoyed that it had gone a bit gloopy but I tried the trick of putting in a little nail varnish remover and it worked a treat.  I then applied the Nails Inc darkish red to the top and the 17 sparkly red to the tip.  i finished off with Seche Vite, this is my first time using this, I love it, very impressed.  it dries super quickly and is so shiny!

11 February 2013

Early Signs of Spring

I was visiting my mum and dad the other day (I pop round for lunch often when at work, as its only 5 mins away and their cupboards always have food in them!) I spotted some early spring flowers popping up in the garden, so I took some wee photos.
Little spring flowers are by by far my favourite, crocuses, snowdrops and daffodils are ever so pretty! It's so exciting seeing these early signs of spring, not long until the whole garden is in full bloom and little jumping lambs will fill the fields and maybe just maybe the sun might come out for a little while...
But what are these little Primroses doing lurking in the garden?  They are a bit early! It always seems to me that Snowdrops and Crocuses pop up earlier and earlier, I get worried that they will get ruined when the weather inevitably turns frosty but these little guys are much stronger than they look.

8 February 2013

Rainy Day Crochet Flowers

So one boring rainy Saturday I decided to crochet some flowers! I've had a few bored weekends recently, Mark has been away in the US on a work trip (forever!!!) so crochet has taken my mind of missing him a bit!
 
I was looking round my little loft flat that weekend and I made a list of little things I would like to do to make it prettier.  I can't do a lot as it's rented so I can't paint the walls bright green, which I'm of course dying to do, and a lot of the furniture came with the flat too. But I thought there are little things I can do, tiny changes that probably only I will notice and that will suit my meagre budget.  So of course I thought I should have some more crochet items around the place!
 
My inspiration? Why my new very favourite blog of course Attic 24, it's the first crochet blog I have found and I love it.  I love the pictures of her home, how many crochet blankets and pretty handmade things she had dotted around.  Her chosen colours are bright and solid primary colours, my favourites too.  I decided to pick one of Lucy's tutorials, the little crochet flowers they are so easy to follow with simple instructions and really clear images.  I had these little flowers done in no time.  Do check out the tutorial on Lucy's blog if you wish to make your own.
 
 
I added the little button detail into the centre and joined them all to a simple string of crochet chains and hung them on the back of my bathroom door.  One of the many great quirky features of this flat is the abundance of little hooks everywhere, I can't help but want to hang pretty things on them! (See previous post here, for more evidence of this!)
 
Here they are hanging in their new place on my bathroom door.
 
And a final close up view.  If the weather doesn't improve soon every available surface in the flat will be covered in pretty handmade crochet items before long.... I wonder if Meg would like a pretty crochet flower collar...
 
Do you get bored on rainy weekends and turn to crafts? Would love to see some of your rainy day creations, leave me links in the comments below.  Thank you.
 
       

6 February 2013

I have a new blog design!!!!

Hi, just dropping by quickly today to say LOOK AT MY NEW BLOG DESIGN! Look how pretty! I'm super happy with it. Wuhu, a new blog design for a new year of blogging. The pic above is obviously my old design, just in case I forget what it looked like!
 
Of course it is the handiwork or the amazing Magic Feather Designs, you can see her designs blog here and her personal blog here.  She was very patient with me constantly changing my mind and not being sure what I wanted and kept working on it until I was completely happy.
 
We still have a few little tweaks to do, and my extra little pages to make, so stay tuned for these...
 
If you are reading this on your mobile or in a blog reader do please go to the main url and look at it properly so you can see Jen's design in it's full glory!
 
Thanks Sis, I love it. x

4 February 2013

Happy Birthday to my Blog!!!

Thursday 2nd February 2012 was the first ever post on this blog. I blogged about these Lego cookies I had baked, check out the post here.  So today I want to celebrate a year of blogging! Happy Birthday to the Perfect Hiding Place.
 
I actually cannot believe it has only been a year, it seems like forever ago that I baked those cookies and started to plan out my first ideas. I am happy that I started blogging, it has brought me so much over this past year. I am impressed and proud of myself that I have stuck to it, blogged consistently and not given up.  So through this little blog I have...
 
  • Made lots of lovely new online friends, it's great to feel like part of a community of like minded people.
  • Got a new  hobby. I didn't have many hobbies before starting this blog and over the past year or so have really enjoyed getting back into crafty things and baking.
  • Developed my photography skills.  I have still got sooo much to learn, but I am pleased with how far I have come. Well I have a lot more photos if nothing else.
  • Developed my skills and understanding of HTML and web design.
  • Improved my writing (possibly).
  • Gained a lovely illustrated diary to look back on.  I take my camera everywhere now so it's nice to document these memories.
  • Felt inspired and pushed myself to be more creative.
  • Discovered a million other amazing blogs, I always follow people if they leave a comment or follow me, great way to find new fabulous reading material.  Blogs may have overtaken magazines as my new favourite thing to read!
  • Got obsessed with Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram... Without this blog I probably wouldn't have heard of these things, or actually use them. I don't know if this is a good thing or bad thing, haha!
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Hopefully I will progress even further over the next year, my plans for the Perfect Hiding Place include...
 
  • A little re-vamp, currently being worked on by the amazing Magic Feather Designs.
  • More photography development.
  • New content and features.
  • Button swaps and more support to blogger pals.
  • More involvement in the blogger community.
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So thanks little blog, and big thanks to my lovely readers too, I never expected anyone to read my little ramblings so all the lovely kind comments are always a great bonus.
 

1 February 2013

This Month... January


So it is not a typical 'January' picture but frankly I haven't taken many pictures of pretty scenery this month. It has been pretty dreary, rainy and windy here, we didn't even get any snow.  So I decided upon a cheery picture instead, I always have daffodils in the flat at this time of year, such an uplifting little flower. I am kind of glad to see the back of this month, been suffering the blues a bit... but we shall focus on the positives...

Things that made me smile...

« Seeing in the new year with friends « starting the new year being off work for a week! « goal setting « looking forward « being positive « the gym « looking at achievements « new crochet magazines « puppy YouTube videos « spending time with my sister « blog planning « returning home from London « new glasses « paying off some debts «  organising a blogger meet up

Cool things I have discovered this month...

Are you kidding? How cool is this tree house? I would absolutely LOVE to escape here.  Check out article here. (Picture credit: daily Mail)

I re-discovered Bethany Joy Lenz's blog (yep that's right it's her off One Tree Hill!) and I really enjoyed and felt inspired by this post about opportunities.  Her advice is so right, you have to earn your success, work hard and dream big.  It's however, easy to acknowledge this, harder to live by it, will try... (Picture credit BethanyJoy.com)

Another really great blog post I have enjoyed is this one from A Beautiful Mess.  I love Emma's easy to follow advice about living a more inspired life and for focusing on keeping on track with goals and dreams when it feels hard and perhaps the time of year (and usually weather) is not conducive to positivity and inspiration. (Picture credit: A Beautiful Mess)

This series about taking your blog to the next level from Gala is mega inspiring and useful.  I always find Gala really inspiring, she is my go to blogger if I am feeling deflated with life. It is one of my resolutions to improve my blog this year so I am excited to see the rest of the posts in this series. (Picture Credit: Gala Darling)

New Movies/TV Shows...

« Sons of Anarchy I must admit I pretty much lost the whole of the Christmas holidays to this TV show discovery and got through a fair few series! I was quite glad to get to the end just to have my life back, haha. if you have not heard of it, it's about an outlaw  motorbike gang.  (yeah I didn't think I would like it from that description either!)It was a bit shocking with very graphic violent content but it is sooo good once you get into it.  Plus the lead character, Jax, is rather easy on the eye! ;-)

« The Hobbit We actually went to the cinema! it feels like a long time since we did that. I didn't think I would like this, not a fan of fantasy type stuff and I'm pretty sure I watched half of one of the Lord of the Rings and fell asleep. I dosed up on sugar as I fully expected not to last the full 3 hours but it flew by, I was pleasantly surprised I enjoyed it.

New Blog Discoveries...

« Messyla - I am so happy to have discovered this super pretty blog.  I love the pics of her house and her crafty makes.

« Oana Befort - I'm a big fan of illustration, so discovering super pretty new illustration blogs makes me smile.

« Outside Beauty Inside Health - It's great to discover fellow Cumbria bloggers, Cat's blog is great, she has made me super inspired to attempt to eat healthier and make more of an effort with running.

Well goodbye January, I am happy you are over. It always feels like such a long and depressing month.  I'm extra depressed as we reach the end of this month too, as Mark has been away in America for work for the past 10 days and I am really missing him! But by February it feels like Spring is just round the corner and we can be positive that we might get some sunshine...