Thursday, 31 December 2015

Favourite Crochet Projects of 2015

I didn't get round to doing my work out yesterday - I had a lazy morning, dozing deeply in bed, before being rudely awoken by hubby telling me that it was already 10 to 10!

As we'd decided to invite a few of our neighbours round for a drink and some chili, we had to get our skates on and finish all the prep - tidying the house to an extreme level, last minute shopping, and sorting ourselves out.  

The evening was a great success - a variety of neighbours, some we know well, one new family (our actual new next door neighbours) and some we say a friendly 'hi' to when we see them, but don't really know.  By the end of the night, everyone else was offering to host another evening, we're looking at summer garden parties (if the summer ever gets dry enough - it's been consistently wet for the last few), and there's a general feeling of good camaraderie.  It's a nice feeling to have been part of strengthening ties in our local little community, even if we have caused a few hangovers in the process!

Am taking things slowly today - I may or may not do a work out, but am not going to beat myself up about it.  What I thought I'd share today though are some of my favourite crochet projects that I completed this year . . . .

For my bestie friend, who, like me, turned the big 4-0 this year, I made this:

It was based on a pattern in Simply Crochet magazine, although I had to tweak it in places.  But it was a very satisfying project to complete!

The same Bestie had her first baby this summer, and so I wanted to make her something special - this blanket ticked my boxes, and I love it!

From the Owl Obsession paid pattern, and made with Stylecraft's Merry Go Round Starburst, and plain cream in DK, it was bright and colourful enough to suit any baby, and wonderfully soft.  Was very, very happy with it.

I also had a couple of commissions this year, that were challenging but fabulous too:

This first one was from a TA at my kids school.  One of the books on the reading scheme is about the Hairy Fairy - and one of her pupils in her group was absolutely fascinated with the character - so much so that I was asked to make one.  He now lives in a specially made Fairy Garden at the school!

The next one was one of the odder commissions I've ever had - teenage mutant ninja snails!  This was a Christmas present for someone who has giant snails herself, so the challenge was to make them look as much like hers as possible!

I'm posting these photo's with the kind permission of the new owner . . . .

They were based on this snail pattern, minus the eye stalks and with a tweak to the shells to make them look more like their inspirations.  They were well received!

That's all for now folks - if I manage a work out, I'll let you know, but for now let me wish you a fantastic end to 2015, and I hope that 2016 brings you everything you need and some of what you want!

Wednesday, 30 December 2015

This was yesterday . . . .

Well, I can safely say that my lower tummy muscles are definitely feeling the first yoga session!

Now, normally, I don't like anyone, even my husband seeing me exercise - being a red, sweaty lump is hugely unattractive!  However, I've realised that I've got to get over myself, and I have just finished my second work out on the bedroom floor, whilst hubby was having an extended lie in.  I guess he got board of the instructor, so he got up, showered and went downstairs.

The second workout was tougher.  Slightly longer at 30-ish minutes, it focused on thighs, hips and bums, whilst also giving those abs another run for their money.  I also couldn't consistently manage the 'jasmine vine' exercise, which was laying on your back, raising your legs to the ceiling, and then scissoring them as you raise and lower them to the point you can manage.  However, I'm not giving up and am looking forward to seeing how many sessions it will take before I can do everything she was asking for on this work out.

Here is the vid - if you're going to try it too, please let me know how you found it:

Of course, I must remember that my blog is also about crafty stuff!  So, with that in mind, later I'll post pictures of a chunky scarf that I started on yesterday - it's already working up a treat and I hope that we'll actually get some cold weather for me to actually wear it!

That's all for now folks - see you later!

Am starting afresh and am taking these from my other blog - this was the first relevant post:

Right, I'm going to do this thing!

Am not waiting for Jan - I want a head start.  What is it they say?  A year from now, you'll wish that you started today . . . .

So, I'm overweight - but who isn't after Christmas eh?  I have managed to put on half a stone over December, and I was already overweight before that.  Obviously, I don't want to stay this way, so I'm going to chart my progress as I try out methods of losing weight and gaining a better shape than a sack of potatoes, which is prety much what I am right now.

On Christmas day, I saw this video . . . . . .

This . . . . it inspired me!

I loved this guys attitude - he couldn't manage everything, but rather than give up and accept his size for the rest of his life, he accepted that he was at the beginning of his journey and each day he'd do a little better than the day before.  He lost 21 stone in 15 months!!!!!

I thought about it - we had the whole in-law family around - a house of 10 people, 4 of which were kiddies, and to be honest, there was no way I was going to do anything on Christmas day, or Boxing day, and the 27th was a visit to my folks for more food and happy meetings. One thing I have agreed with myself is that life is to be lived, so I wasn't going to stint myself too much!

But today was the day to begin - my parents-in-law left this morning, and we had a lazy few hours after that, getting used to being just 4 again.  So I dug out the mat I bought when Wii Fit was the fashion, took it to the bedroon and found this video:

I managed pretty much the entire work out, and can feel it now in my tummy!  I look nothing like the lovely lass in the video, of course, but I really enjoyed the workout.  And, it's a start.

She has 3 work outs at this level, and I plan on going through them all, doing one a day, for the next couple of weeks.  It's only 20 or so minutes a day, and I can already feel that it's working my muscles.

Anyway, I'm going to chart my progress here - tomorrow I'm going to be brave, take photos and take measurements - I want to see the changes myself!

However, I'm also going to be brutally honest - I'm not perfect, and life has the potential to be very short, so I'm typing this whilst outside a few glasses of white wine.

Honestly, I will be drinking fairly frequently, and not always eating healthily, but I will be working harder at being good than 'normal' and still trying to achieve the goal of weight loss and a better lookin body.

One thing I do believe is that life is to be lived, and I don't want my last thought to be - I wish I hadn't said 'no' so often.  There are delicious things to eat, drink and experience and I want to make the most of all of them, but still do my best to not turn into a human dumpling!

See you later on the journey . . . .