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I have developed a love for all things crochet. I am actually originally a knitter, and as current trend dictates, you are supposed to love either crochet or knitting and not both. Knitters have been known to crochet in secret so as not to tar their reputation, or have any fellow knitter doubt their dedication to the craft. A real knitter may even feel that they are being slightly unfaithful in picking up a crochet hook, even if it is just to pick up a dropped stitch. One feels that one is cheating.

What drew me to crochet was the fact that it can lend fantastic structure to garments. When perusing baby booty patterns, those that I liked the best were the booties that actually stood up on their own, as opposed to the ones that lay flat in the way that socks do. Invariably this affect seemed to be achieved through crochet. So I bit the bullet and dug out my slightly dusty crochet hooks. And this was the start of my current love affair with all thing crochet.

Though I feel slightly guilty admitting it, I do believe that crochet has a few advantages when compared to knitting. This is what I have found during my moonlight crocheting….

  1. Its faster. You get results quicker. I am a mother to a baby and a pre-schooler. Time is of the essence. And almost instant gratification suits me down to the ground.
  2. Its faster! This means that if you a making clothing for the little ones you actually get to finish them before they have outgrown them.
  3. You can’t see mistakes as easily. In the grand scheme of things, a stitch made from split yarn is barely noticeable in a piece of crochet, compared to knitting. This means less ripping back, which also saves time.
  4. You use one hook, instead of two (or even five!) needles. One less piece of equipment to keep track of!
  5. Lacework is a doddle and is much quicker and easier to follow
  6. You can get a really dense piece of fabric with crochet, without necessarily using chunky yarn
  7. It lends well to structures and more tailored pieces, without having to rely on complicated pattern

So anyway, I am happily crocheting away on several projects while my knitting is slowly collecting dust. (sorry). And one of these projects, my biggest project to date, is what I am calling my spring fling blanket.  Its based on a ripple pattern as found on one of my favourite blogs Attic 24. And the colours that I have chosen are inspired by spring. I love white furniture and I have a white sofa (mad, I know, with two young children) But lately I have been feeling that everything is a bit too white, and I would like to inject some colour for the spring and summer months. What a I love about this blanket is that the pattern is so easy, once you have compleated the first two or three rows, you’re away in a wonderful repetative reel. It crochets up quickly, you can decide the colours depending on whatever mood you are in, and you don’t have to keep check the pattern. So when i am watching tv and need something uncomplicated, or when I only have a moment and need a quick crochet fix, this is my go to. Its m comfort blanket. I urge you to make one too!

Are you a knitter or a crocheter? What are you working on at the moment? Feel free to leave a comment, I would love to hear from you!

My interior style is sort of modern country. I am a bit girly, and love white combined with pastels like pale pink and duck egg blue. I love simple, slightly whimsical patterns such as roses on pale backgrounds, pastel stripes, polka dots, birds and butterflies. I adore wicker baskets, flowers and interior inspired by nature, and I like white combined with silver/chrome. Here are a few of my favorite things from my home.

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Do you see that blue spotty drawstring bag in the picture? It vas very simple to sew. I’m so happy to have made something that is pretty and useful at the same time, and that fits right in with my decor. If anyone is interested I will post up a pattern on my blog. An easy and practical project that can be embellished any way you like.  There will definitely be more drawstring purses to sew in the future.

First up I must mention the incredible weather we have had …. amazing amounts of Snow. I am a British girl living on the South West coast of Norway, and whilst I am used to the odd smattering of snow a couple of times in January, I have never encountered anything like this. On 12.12.12 it *Snowed*; with a capital S. Big juicy flakes that floated down like falling feathers. Almost 50cm deep snow, the kinda weather that closes motorways and prevents one from being able to open one’s front door.  Even my fellow Norwegian countrymen weren’t quite sure what to make of it, as the whole of my region came to a complete standstill. This amount of snow is just amazing to me. Beautiful, and very humbling as nature takes over, disrupts our daily lives,  and reminds us that  there are some things that we just can’t control.

This sort of weather is very social. Our neighbours, who we normally only get to chat with in the warmer summer months, we out shovelling back to snow, helping cars that got stuck, clearing the driveways of the older residents, and coming together in the spirit of community and shared wonder.It was heartwarming to see.

And Snow is so much fun, especially when you are only 4! Isabel, my oldest daughter,  had great fun helping Daddy make a tunnel through the snow in the garden….

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The snow came quickly, almost overnight, and what followed the next day was blizzards and  and some of the most dramatic weather I have  ever seen.  The  news reporter recommended everyone to stay indoors.  And what does one do with a bored four-year old that has been shut indoors all day? Crafts of course! So without further ado, here comes my first craft project of this blog.This one is a christmas craft for children…and the young at heart. 🙂

Have a ‘Rice’ Christmas – Christmas card craft.

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This is a children’s craft, which involves making cute holiday cards with rice. It’s very easy, with fun results and perfect for younger children. Isabel, who gets bored easily, spent an engaging couple of hours making three of these, and wanted  to do more the next day 🙂  I borrowed this craft idea from a brilliant children’s craft blog called The Crafty Crow, and thought it would work well as a home-made christmas card.

You will need :

  • Rice (preferably in a tupperware box so you can stow it away ’til next time)
  • All purpose craft glue (the liquid kind,not the ‘stick’ kind)
  • Card (coloured card provides a nice contrast)
  • buttons, beads, or similar to decorate the tree with
  • A pen to draw the trunk with
  • green food colouring (optional)

On the crafty crow blog, plain white rice is used. I myself had a little ‘aha’ moment and dyed the rice green with food colouring…..though this doesn’t show up well in the photograph. Snowy tree or green tree, it’s up to you.

1.Place rice in a bowl or tupperware box; add about a teaspoon of green food colouring if you are going for a green christmas tree. Stir well until all rice is covered. Add more for a deeper green colour if desired.
2.Fold over a piece of card

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3. On the front, draw the outline of a tree with the glue. Fill in with more glue using a brush or whatever you have on hand…we used pipe cleaners that could easily be discarded afterwards.

4. Tip plenty rice onto the glue, much more than you need to cover the tree image. Wait  a couple of seconds and then pat lightly with the palm of your hand.  Tip off the extra rice back into the bowl and you will find you have a lovely, ricey, tree image! You can decorate your tree by gluing on buttons, beads, scrapbook stickers, use your imagination. Draw a tree trunk and allow to dry.

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Ta daaaaaaa!

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As well as crafting, another passion of mine is food and cooking. And absolutely, the best thing to eat on a cold snowy day is a hot bowl of homemade soup. Perfect after shovelling snow! So, only too happy to oblige and needing to use up some left over chicken in the fridge, i set to work and made Chicken and Sweetcorn Soup. This recipe is adapted from one published on the BBC Good Food website. Its the quickest and easiest homemade soup ever, made from leftovers and store-cupboard ingredients.

Chinese Chicken and Sweetcorn soup

Yummy scrummy, easy peasy chinese chicken soup

Yummy scrummy, easy peasy chinese chicken soup

You will need:

200g chicken breast
1 large tin sweetcorn
2 garlic cloves
1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger, or 2 tsp. ground ginger spice
700ml chicken stock
1 tbsp. cornstarch
1tbsp lemon juice
1 egg
Soy sauce to taste

Brown the chicken in a saucepan, then add the garlic, ginger and sweetcorn: saute gently for 2-3 minutes. Mix cornstarch into a little of the stick to make a paste, and stir into the chicken mixture. Add chicken stock and stir well. Bring to the boil and then simmer for about 10-15 minutes.
Mix together lemon juice and beaten egg. Pour into soup, stirring gently, to form strands. Season to taste with soy sauce, and enjoy. Great with prawn crackers if you have them!

That’s it for today’s post. Comments are most welcome, I’d love to hear from you. Let me know if you are going to try the rice card, or the chinese style soup!

Marilyn xx

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