Sunday, 20 December 2015

Colour My Life

 Isn't this wonderful? It's a dinky little DAB radio in a leather duck-egg blue case. Bought by my son   Mike and his lovely partner Vicki for Christmas ESPECIALLY to fit into the summer house. It just looks so PERFECT in there.

     Looks equally good on the shelf or on my little pale green side table. Just THE PERFECT gift!

  My Cosy Stripe Blanket (Lucy from Attic 24 pattern) I omitted a couple of her colours and changed   the order here and there. Not too fond of the spice (orange) but accept it is part of the autumn colour scheme she chose. Actually, we think it feels quite Christmassy.

   Below, some crochet shapes I've been experimenting with. The first circles are crocheted in Noro   Secret Garden - I love the variegated nature of this silk/wool yarn.

Granny Squares. I get a bit fed up fastening off and restarting but I do enjoy the way the colours blend.This is of course good old Stylecraft Special DK. Cheap as chips and lovely colours.

Now then, this was an attempt at free-form crochet, which turned into a kind of wavy circle… I may carry on, do a little decreasing to mitigate the frilliness, and see if it becomes a shawl…. the yarn is Lisa Harding's Amitola which is a 4-ply wool/silk mix. It looks wonderful in the ball, but I hated the way it crocheted in rows, the colours do not meld together very well in lines. However, I do like the way it works in an ever increasing circle.

Here you can see a basket of yarn and the beginnings of ANOTHER blanket - the Granny Stripe no 2. I started out looking at Lucy's Harmony Squares colour scheme, but then decided to do my own version. Same shades as the granny squares above. My Granny Stripe Mk1, made about 5 years ago, will move into the caravan.

     Below, some felty colourfulness in the sewing room. Also known as The Black Hole of Calcutta!

     My collection of pro markers, for all that "grown-up colouring-in" we are so fond of these days!

       And to finish up, a couple of photos of some brightly coloured pottery in my kitchen. Love it!

I hope these colours have brightened up your day - they certainly keep me feeling happy. This will be my last blog-post this year, and maybe into 2016 - but I shall definitely be back! I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas and a happy healthy and fortune-filled New Year, and I will be back very soon.

Tuesday, 8 December 2015

Winter Colour

Hi folks! Are you, like me, in need of a bit of cheering up? I know "t'is the season" and all that, but I have been attacked by a nasty little virus recently which, quite apart from laying me low and giving me some pain and grief, has put paid to three days - THREE WHOLE DAYS - of lovely events over this weekend gone. Add one or two other little worries to the mix and you have a not-very-festive frame of mind here in Chez Gill, I'm afraid.

SO, I thought, let's have some colour. Without too many words (I'm sure you won't mind that!) and quite a few pictures, here we go - enjoy the show!

COLOUR - in the garden.

                                     Brave little blossoms, keepin' on keepin' on!

                                               My garden mosaics hangin' on in there.

COLOUR- in the summer house

    On the left we have the almost-finished-painting shelving unit Jim built and I wall-papered and painted. I hope you like the paper - discount store, cheap as chips but JUST what I was looking for!

On the right - the almost finished armoire. When it has its door with chicken-wire and pleated fabric finish, it will look perfectly lush. See what I mean about that paper? Picks out so many shades in the other furnishings and paint.

COLOUR- all over the place!

                                All my blankets - apart from the two in the summer house.

This is my Lucy Bag Mk 2 - the first one grew SOOooooo huge it now holds a gazillion balls of wool.

Lucy Bag, and the Noro wool bag I made a few months ago. Just didn't have sufficient for the strap, unfortunately.

                                       Can't get enough of these shots of deliciousness!

                                                                       …….. can you tell?

Well, that's your lot, hope it has brightened up a chilly day for you. I find clusters of colour like this actually DO make me feel warmer and happier. Visual endorphins, maybe. I hope you find something to give you a burst of cheer today. Until next time!

Thursday, 3 December 2015

Quitting Sugar Post and Crochet!

HI Everyone, well, a sad morning for us here in the UK as our undemocratically mis-elected government have chosen to bomb Syria. A more misguided and cynically greed-driven action I cannot contemplate. Not in our name, Mr Cameron, not in our name.

However. This is not a political blog, but my feelings (as you know) sometimes spill over. Back to what we are usually about. This is my Catch Up post on our progress with getting sugar out of our bodies and out of our lives. Which does not mean we shall never ever eat a piece of cake or chocolate again, I'm not anti-pleasure!

We are in the middle of our EIGHTH WEEK! And it is going well. We're eating lots of salads and veggies, and pretty normal meals with lovely fat included, the occasional slice of good bread, pasta or rice in small amounts and infrequently, and NO processed foods. Unless you count good quality sausages, and tinned tomatoes, sugar-free passata etc.

Jim's blood glucose is down and his blood pressure is down from 160/90 to 120/80. Mine is 138/78 which I hope will also make an improvement from that 138 (which neither the GP nor I am very worried about. ) Jim's lost just over half a stone and I have lost just short (less than a pound) of ONE STONE in seven weeks. More to the point I feel I am doing myself a whole lot of good getting the sugar out of my system, moving further and further away from that Metabolic Syndrome I have been dicing with for years. My liver is thanking me profusely for enabling it to get rid of its visceral fat. My appestat is back and working so well I can actually tell to the last mouthful how much is too much on my plate, and frequently leave a little. Unheard of before. And the effect on my grehlin-producing gland in my stomach, which used to tell me I was hungry all the time has been wonderful - we are just not hungry between meals. Curiously, my GO has asked me to come in to the surgery as she want to reduce my thyroid medication, due to the blood test results. I have no idea whether there is a connection with the sugar free thing - but I have been on the same dosage for about 10 years and have a thyroxine level blood test done every year. Coincidence that the level needs adjusting right now? I don't know, but I shall be investigating! Sugar has an insidious effect on so many of our hormones, until you cut it out you just don't realise.

Some people have asked for some links to videos, so here they are. Find them on you tube.

"Auckland 2014 : Low CArb New Zealand Seminar" 8 videos, including one by Sarah Wilson, who wrote the I Quit Sugar books.  Also include and English GP and an Aussie Dietician and practitioners in the diabetic area.

Dr Robert Lustig , a paediatric neuro-endocrinologist who is on a long term campaign "Sugar: the Bitter Truth"  "Fat Chance"  "Processed Food : An experiment that failed"

David Gillespie "Sweet Poison"

Dr Gary Taubes  "Why we get fat"

Damon Gameau "THAT Sugar Film" and "THAT Sugar Book"

Happy watching!

And just so that I can include a bit of bright hooky scrumptiousness, here are some photos of the crochet I've been doing this week. Yes, I've almost finished my SECOND Ripple Blanket, in a colour scheme not a million miles away from the first one, but it IS different. I'm darning in the dangly bits and finishing the edges on Saturday when I shall be working in Jane-Anne's beautiful studio over the other side of the county.

And here I've made a start on the NEXT project (there has to be one!) which is another one of Lucy's of Attic24 fame. It is her Cosy Stripe Blanket, which has alternate colours worked in just two patterns. First is 2 rows of plain treble, then follows two rows of clusters of three trebles, which is all easy peasy and NO COUNTING! Here it is after just two rows, I've done about eight now. The inspiration for Lucy's colour scheme was a collection of Autumn leaves, flowers and fruits. A really warm and rich combination.

So there it is, I hope this has been food for thought and a feast for the eyes!