Saturday, 26 December 2015

Final Chapter

Hello Lovelies!!!
I do hope you are all having the most splendid holiday celebrations. Merry Christmas to you all!!

I thought I'd pop by as it's been an absolute eternity since I last posted.
I have a warm mug of milky coffee at my side, along with a mince pie to nibble on and I'm feeling rather reflective.

It's almost the end of another year and 2016 is already on the horizon.
2015 has been a good one for me. It's been a busy year and zoomed by at lightning speed, but definitely a good year.It's hard to comprehend that it's already coming to an end.

When I look back at 2015 I see that it's been a year of work. My job had been nonstop and feels like it didn't slow up at all, which I must say is the main reason I haven't been popping by to write on my blog. Being exhausted from work and trying to balance regular blog posts, seemed like a juggling act and at the end of the Summer I decided to take a little break from According to Matt.
I only intended to be away for a couple of weeks, maybe a month at the most. We are now 5 months later and you haven't heard a thing from me. I'm sorry for that, especially to all of the people that have stood by me and my blog for so long.

Having a break from my blog has been great though, I feel creatively recharged and ready to start something new.
Something new is really the case though, as I have decided to call it a day with According to Matt.
It's been a really great journey and I've enjoyed every moment of my blog, which is the exact reason I'm not quitting Blogland all together. Simply moving homes.
After some serious consideration I've decided that I'm no longer going to be writing here on my blog. I will keep the blog online for anybody who wants to look back at old posts patterns and tutorials, but nothing new will be written here. Instead I'll be over at my new home Boys & Bunting.

Boys & Bunting is something that I'm working on with Dennis, a joint venture. We've been working non stop over the past months to create a site that is fun and informative and (of course) has a blog.
I'm so insanely excited about it!! I can not wait to share it with you all.
It seems appropriate that with the ticking over of the new year to start something fresh and so from January 1st, Boys & Bunting will be online at " www.boysandbunting.com" I do hope you will all pop by and visit us at our new home and support our new venture the same as you've always supported According to Matt.

I really can not tell you how much I have planned together with Dennis for the next year a head! I hope you join us for the journey and can't wait to see you on the other side!!! Thank you all for the support over the past 4 and a bit years, it really means the world! Lots of love always

Sunday, 9 August 2015

Sewing Progress

Hello there!
How are you all doing, I do hope that you are all having a rather spiffing week?
I'm still up to my eyeballs at work, wandering when it will slow down? I love my job I really do, but it's all I seem to have time for at the moment and I am longing to spend a little more time with you guys.

Even though I haven't been doing a huge amount of crafting at the moment, Dennis has been working up something of a crafting storm.
Over the last year or so he's really been getting into sewing and really has a natural talent when it comes to transforming a piece of fabric into something rather magical.

He's recently invested in some supplies and now has a proper cutting board along with a very handy rotary cutter.


Along with our trusty sewing machine, Dennis has been happily spending some time working on projects.

Making a  mess with a big chaotic mountain of fabric, he's really been going for it on the crafting front. 


I grabbed the camera the other day whilst he was working and took some snaps as he very smoothly maneuvered his was around his mound of organised crafting chaos. It was rather lovely to watch!


The products he's making are gorgeous and the workmanship is top class: 


Not bad eh?! 
This is my personal favourite:


A doggy poop bag dispenser! It's been rather practical now that we have Poppy. 
A great way of holding the little bags in a fun, practical and stylish way. Super cute!!!


Dennis is enjoying working on his new found hobby so much that we have decided that we are going to try and sell some of the items in an online shop. I like the sound of this very much and  thought that I'd join him on the collaboration! 
It's about time I opened a little shop. 
I'm going to be making some crochet projects to sell and Dennis will be working on his sewing products. We are in the process of making a little webpage for our shop and I'm hoping that we can have it up and running within the next month.  It's a rather exciting project for the two of us and nice that we can work on a combined venture once again!
I'll keep you posted over the next weeks giving you more details once we have them finalised!
Until next time!


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Saturday, 11 July 2015

Poppy Love

Hello there!! I do hope you are all well? 
Once again I've been away for far too long, but I have good reasons!! You see I've been a little preoccupied. 
I've been living a dream that I've had for most of my life and one that Dennis and I have shared for over 5 years. The dream of being doggy parents!!! 
It seems a little surreal even writing this post, as having a dog has always been something that I knew would happen in the future,  just not something that would be happening now. 
She's the cutest bundle of fluff and already I'm 100% in love with her!
Her name is Poppy and she's a 9 week old Bolonka Zwetna, who's already earned the place of being my sidekick.  

 

Dennis and I knew that getting a dog takes a lot of responsibility and time, and after years of deliberating realised that there was never going to be the perfect time to get a puppy. Now was as good a time as ever. 
After finally deciding that we were going to take the plunge and get a dog, we set about looking online for breeders that dealt specifically in this breed. We already knew the breed from looking after our friends dog, Hayley (Here are some pics of Hayley from previous post, "The Dog Collar", "A Walk In The Park"). We thought that this breed of dog would suit us well as they remain pretty small, which is better for our apartment. Also they shed no fur, which is great for my allergies! 
After making contact with a breeder we patiently awaited the birth date. On the 6th of May she was born, along with her (also) black and white sister and her chocolate brown brother.


So tiny and eyes not yet open. We had to wait until her fourth week before we could go and visit. What a wait that was, it seemed like forever.  
On the 6th of June we made our journey to the breeders house,  it was a couple of hours away North of Stuttgart. It happened to be the same weekend that my Mum and Dad were visiting, so they also came (very excitedly) along for the trip. 

What a moment that was! Seeing our puppy for the very first time.


She was so insanely small, very cute and already intrigued by her surrounding environment. It brought tears to my eyes holding her for the first time, so small and vulnerable.


We both held her for a while, before just watching and observing as her very proud mother gave her a wash and a cuddle.  

Our minds were made up that she was the dog for us!
The next month was a month of planning, buying toys, bowls, beds and other essentials.


Dennis and I were totally excited and more than prepared! We both had a countdown set on our phones, counting down to the very special day.


Every morning we would cross one more day off of our chalk board calendar.


The day was finally here!! We both couldn't believe it! Very excited,  but a little nervous and anxious of how things were going to be.  

We left bright and early and made our journey to the breeders house. 
The second I saw Poppy again, my nerves melted away and I knew that things were going to be ok. 
Here's the picture that the breeder took of us, shortly before we were about to head back home. "Over the moon" seems to sum up our moods.  Dennis and I and our 8 week old puppy, named Poppy.


Poppy had a really easy drive home, no crying, vomiting, pooping or peeing. Pretty amazing considering she was leaving her old home and traveling with us for the first time in a car. All of this and on the hottest day of the year!

Once at home we took her for a walk so she could relieve herself. She did very well and seemed curious of her new environment.


She's settling in splendidly and already finding a nice routine along with the two of us.


It's now been a whole week since we picked her up. 
Dennis and I are a little tired from the wake ups in the night, but above all we are insanely thrilled to have her. 
Summed up...this is up there as one of the best weeks of my life! We've played and cuddled and licked and explored, sniffed and slept and cuddled some more!


You'll be seeing lots more of this fur ball around here!
Wishing you all a lovely weekend! We're off to our first puppy play class today, should be fun!!

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Sunday, 14 June 2015

Mici

Hello Lovelies!
I do hope you are all having a lovely and productive week? 
Things have been pretty busy here as I'm mid way through rehearsing new cast members into the show at work, for this years cast change. 
"Cast change" means long focused days, with everyone working full steam ahead to make the most of the rehearsal period. The new actors, dancers and singers will premier in the show next month and shortly after that rehearsals will calm down a little. That means I'll have a little more time to spend with you guys!

Other than being busy at work.. I had the luxury of my parents coming out to visit Dennis and I in Stuttgart. We had a lovely weekend together, hiring a car and visiting some beautiful destinations in and around Southern Germany. I've got lost of snaps, so I'll share them all with you very soon. 

Today however, I have a little crochet project that has kept me busy over the past 6 weeks or so.....


I made another Lalylala, This time Mici The Mermaid! 
She was made using Oslo by Wolle Rödel. I chose the colours: white, cream, petrol, jeans and cherry along with a mini 2mm crochet hook. 

Using a slightly thicker yarn with the tiny hook meant that it was easier to keep the crochet tighter, which I find makes amigurumi like this look a little neater. 


I got to work following the easy to understand instructions. Starting at the base of her tail and working all of the way up to the top of her head. I would stuff her with toy stuffing as I progressed,  making sure she was holding her shape well and was nice and firm. 


Once I had finished her main body and stuffed her, I noticed that I was starting to see the toy stuffing poke through the crochet stitches. I had either crocheted a little loose or over stuffed her and stretched the stitches too much.
I was making Mici as a gift and so I wanted her to be perfect. I decided to weave yarn around the stitches of her tail to cover and hide the stretched stitches. It worked a treat and her tail ended up not only having a little contrast in color,  but looked much tidier.


Time for some fins!!
These were fast and easy to make. Working out of a foundation chain and crochet along one side, then around and back down the other side of the foundation produced the perfect finishing touch to Mici's tail. 



The hair was the fiddliest part of this pattern.
It consisted of making little circles and sewing them on to her head individually.
The circles were easy to make, but I found sewing them on a little tricky as it was hard to get the needle into and back out of her firmly stuffed head.
I made sure to pin all of her hair onto her head before I began to check it was positioned correctly.


I took me a couple of attempts before I was finally happy with how her hair was looking.


Sewing the individual parts of her hair was tricky, but that extra effort added a really lovely and intricate detail to the overall look of the doll.


The detailed hair was also a lovely contrast to the very simple black eyes (these were added as the head was crocheted, the pattern very cleverly and clearly explains exactly where these need to be placed).


Mici was almost there! She of course needed two arms and some extra special features to finish her off:
A red and white rubber ring and a sailor hat to add to her cuteness!



I stitched all of the pieces together and she was done!!
Looking totally adorable, if I say so myself!




Mici is the 3rd Lalylala I've made. I really am in love with the design of these dolls, they take a little while to make, but the effort is so worth the end results.
They are perfect for gifts as everybody seems to love them!!!









A rather fun make with some pleasing results! I do hope she enjoys her new home when I give her away (I can't say who I'm giving her to in case they are reading this!!)

Whats my next project going to be? hmmmm
I have one little thing that I must finish (I haven't forgotten about you Mel from yarntree.co.uk!!) and then my future projects list is a little empty, I must get looking for some inspiration!!!
Have a lovely Sunday and Happy Birthday to my Dad!!!

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Sunday, 31 May 2015

Spectacle

Up and down. That's been the general theme of the weather for the past couple of weeks.
Sometimes sunny, sometimes rainy, sometimes hot, sometimes cold! All over the place.
However this up and down cycle seems to have worked wonders on my flowers. They are positively thriving! The flowers are in full bloom and my plants are as bright and healthy as ever. A vibrant haven of colour!

You all know that I have a passion for colour. When my flowers are putting on this kind of show, I couldn't help but take a few shots with my camera and share the spectacle with you.


















A real treat for the senses. My balcony is my little refuge. A place I visit each morning and evening, to check on the progress of the flowers. Apparently it's turning into quite a passion of mine.
Very therapeutic I must say!
Happy Sunday my lovelies!

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