Favourite Thing On a Friday - Beautiful Words



I've got nothing to add other than, 'tis true.

If you want to link up with Favourite Thing On a Friday, just add your details below, tell me what your Favourite Thing On a Friday is in your blog post, and link back to Mimi and Tilly.

I'll be over in a jiffy.


There's Still Time!

There's still time to enter my second blogiversay giveaway if you haven't already.  The winner will be picked tomorrow evening (GMT - Get me!).

Just click on the giveaway button and follow the instructions you find there, and you could be the proud owner of a copy of the Cath Kidston book "Sew!"

A huge, warm "Hello there!" to my new followers.  I'm really looking forward to getting to know you and visiting your blogs!

I'm off to bed-fordshire now, (with a hot cup of tea, and a cheeky slice of buttered toast, yum) but will be back again tomorrow to announce the winner.



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Favourite Thing On A Friday - Getting My Knit On

When I was a little girl I had what I affectionately called my "itchy blanket".  A noo-noo if you will.  I carried it most places with me, and sat with it against my cheek.  There was also a stage I went through, when I was about 3, of stuffing it down the legs of my pyjamas and prancing round, but the less said about that the better for all concerned, I think.

It's safe to say my woolly love has continued into adulthood.  I absolutely adore woolly blankets, knitted scarves, sloppy knitted sweaters.  I also can't walk away from an aran cardie.  Or drive through Wales without screeching to a halt outside traditional Welsh gift shops and harassing the woven woollen blankets on display.  

My home is a testament to this love of all things woolly.  I have woven woolly blanket throws on my furniture, across the end of my bed (you can find a recent woolly purchase that made me insanely happy HERE), even my cats have got knitted cat beds.  

And one of my absolute favourite things to do is knit.

By most people's standards, I'm totally pants at it.

I can only knit things that have straight edges.  Scarves, envelope style cushion covers, gloves for people with square hands (that look uncannily like woolly flannels). And socks for people with square feet (these look pretty much like the gloves, only with the added bonus that you can't squeeze them into your shoes).  And I can't follow a pattern.  I am fortunate that I am able to finish a piece of knitting and still have the same number of stitches at the end as when I started.  Although, frankly, it did take some time and some fairly fresh language to achieve this.

But I love it so much.  The colours of the wool.  The softness of the wool.  The repetitive nature of making the stitches.  It was a happy day for me when I decided to put my ability to knit squares to good use.  By starting a granny blanket.

Several months ago I found a ball of vintage double knitting wool in the most beautiful plum colour, in a charity  shop.  Then another time, I found one in a pale lilac.  I decided to knit them into squares, and to make a blanket knitted totally in odd balls of vintage wool found in charity shops.  No new wool allowed. No acrylic yarns allowed.  Only beautiful woolly wool in whatever colours came along.  So, it has become a real adventure, finding wool for my blanket.  What colour will I find?  Will it be the right thickness?  Will I find only one ball or will there be another kicking round the basket?  Can I really include a square knitted from vomit coloured wool?  No.  Throw it back in the basket. I have got standards.

Over the past few months, whenever the mood has grabbed me, I've taken out my blanket knitting bag and knitted a square.  This week, my Favourite Thing On A Friday is my soon to be knitted blanket. Although when I say soon, I mean as soon as I have knitted another 40 squares. We're not talking any time really soon here, you understand...

Ta dah...


   









I'm on the lookout for some different colours.  What colours do you think would work well?

If you fancy linking up with 


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just add your blog post in the link-up tool below, and link up on your post back to Mimi and Tilly.  I'll be over to see you faster than you can cast on.




Hello There!

I just wanted to say a big hello to my new followers, and to let you know that tomorrow is "Favourite Thing On A Friday" day here at Mimi and Tilly.

Which is pretty much what it says on the tin!

As I'm going about my week, doing what I'm doing, I tend to find something that I love, or hear something that has made me laugh, or see something that has brightened my day.  Nothing earth-shattering, but something that deserves celebrating anyway.  

The small stuff of life that makes life great. 

And each Friday, I write about it here, and post gratuitous, wanton photos of it.

Just because...

You can learn more about how it started HERE

And here...






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If you want to join in, all you have to do is write a blog post about your Favourite Thing On A Friday, and link up with me here tomorrow, posting a link back to Mimi and Tilly on your blog post.

It's a really lovely way to get to see all our favourite things, visit other blogs, and share in some general gorgeousness.  So far some of our favourite things have included a beautiful spider web, an antique watch, poetry, lost and found jewellery, and Pinterest!  

So, if you're a new follower, a huge welcome to Mimi and Tilly, I really look forward to getting to know you.  If you're not a new follower, hello, how has your week been? I'm really looking forward to seeing what your favourite things have been this week.

If you haven't already entered my two year blogiversary giveaway, you've still got plenty of time.  I'll be announcing the winner on Tuesday 23rd August.  That'll be next week...  Ooh, exciting!

Just click here to find out more...



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I hope you've had a fantastic week.
Sending smiles and glitter,




My Second Blogiversary Giveaway

On August 23rd, next week, it will be my second blogiversay.

Two years ago on that date I sat down and wrote out my first blog post.

You can read it HERE if you'd like to.

I had no idea back then that my blog would come to mean so much to me, and that I would make such wonderful new friends through blogging.

You have been completely amazing.  You have made me laugh, given such wonderful support, been fantastic friends and have brought so much sparkle and glitter into my life.

Really.

To say a huge thank you I'd like to host a giveaway.

Here's the prize...

A brand spanking new copy of Cath Kidston's fantabulous book "Sew!"

A couple of my friends in the States have mentioned that they can't get Cath Kidston, so I thought, well, if that's the case, maybe we can bring St. Cath of the Kidston to you by way of a giveaway. So, this giveaway is open to UK followers and all overseas followers to give you a chance to get some Kidston love.


Sew! is chock full of gorgeous ideas of things to make, with complete instructions and full sized paper patterns.  All you have to do is provide your own pretty material.
It is just lovely to sit and peruse over a pot of tea and a bikkie! 
I have my own well-thumbed copy of this book and made this little treasure from it a while back, do you remember?




Steve will pick the winner on Tuesday 23rd August, my blogiversay.

Good luck! 

To Enter:

  •  If you're already a follower, just leave a comment on this post and let me know you want to be included.
  •  If you're not already a follower, follow Mimi and Tilly via Google Friend Connect and leave a comment letting me know you want to be included.
  • Follow Mimi and Tilly on Facebook for a further entry.
  • Follow Mimi and Tilly on Twitter for an extra entry.
  • Follow Mimi and Tilly on Pinterest for another entry. 
  • Post the giveaway button in your blog sidebar for another entry.
  • Blog about this giveaway on your blog. 
Leave a comment on this post, letting me know how many times you need to be entered, and your email address, and I'll pop your name into the hat.  You can enter up to 6 times if you do all of those, but there's no need to, it's entirely up to you how many times you choose to enter.  I'm just very grateful you read Mimi and Tilly and glad to have the chance to say a big fat "Thank you".

Here's the button...




I hope you've had a bobby-dazzler of a week.

Big smiles,




P.S.  I'm linking up with Free Pretty Things today.  There are lots of beautiful blogs to see, well worth a visit... Em x

Copper Curls

I've been fandangling around with my blog sidebar.  

Tidying up.  Creating a link section.

So that people can explore my earlier blog posts if they fancy it.

No pressure.

It's just that I started to get a bit lost around my blog.  Searching for posts and photos.  Thoughts of "I wrote this and even I don't have a clue" came into my head.  So I decided I'd better get a bit more organised.

As I was going through my jewellery design posts and bending my brain, figuring out how to link them up using photos of my designs, I realised I had made different pieces of jewellery and not posted about them here.  I'd posted the photos on my Mimi and Tilly Facebook page and had totally forgotten to post here.

I also realised that I don't give much detail about the designs other than to say, "Hey, I made this!"  which is ok, but doesn't tell you much about the process, or why I am so made up with what I've done.

So...

Here is a copper upper-arm bangle that I made for my beautiful sister, Charlotte.




This piece started out as a fairly short but fat piece of copper wire which was hand-forged.  Which means the metal is repeatedly heated and shaped over and over again. 

I heated the wire until it glowed red.  This is known as annealing.  It makes the wire much more malleable.  Then I stretched the wire using a rolling mill.  Heating and stretching a number of times until the wire was the thickness I wanted.

 I hammered the wire lightly to get the texture I wanted and then gently shaped it to fit my sister's upper arm.

I love this bangle.  It reminds me of ivy, vines and creepers.












Hand-forging is quite a long drawn out affair (do you see what I did there?) but I love it.  It's a slow but steady process.  Gentle but effective. 

 There's something a bit magical about playing with metal to stretch it out.  And I love that when you heat up metal, you are basically making the molecules jiggle about faster and faster so that they are easier to move.  When you heat up copper it glows the most beautiful deep red.  That's when the molecules are really getting jiggy.  

You also have to be very careful.  When metal glows red, it's nearly at it's flash point, which is the point at which it melts into a pile of goo.  

Copper is fantastic because there's quite a bit of time between it starting to glow and reaching it's flash point (relatively speaking, I'm talking seconds).  Silver is much less fluid in this way.  

I learned about silver flash points the hard way.  A piece I was working on glowed red as I was heating it.  In my head I said "Ooooh, pretty", thinking that silver was like copper with a long flash point.  Then I instantly found myself looking at a beautiful, bobbly pile of silver goo.

Oops.

That's not actually what I said at the time.  Through my sobs.  But I prefer not to write rude words.

So there you have it.  A hand-forged copper upper-arm bangle for my sister.

I'm linking up with Tea Rose Home with this post today...






I hope you have a wonderful week.

Much love,





P.S. Thank you for joining in with Favourite Thing On a Friday.  I'm really enjoying visiting your blogs and seeing what your favourite things have been each week. Yep, I'm loving it! Em xx

Favourite Thing On A Friday - How Pinteresting...

Thank you so much for your kind thoughts and words of support on my last post.

It made a big difference to know that you were rooting for me and sending love and hugs.

The world has stopped spinning and I'm chilling in my jimjams with a natty pair of stripey socks.

I've spent the past couple of days resting up.

However, although I'm feeling more rested, I'm still done for.

...Because...

I've only gone and joined...




Pinterest?

"What's that all about?"  You say.

Well it's my Favourite Thing On a Friday this week.

As if I didn't already have enough ways of losing track of time on t'internet.

Last week I got a mysterious email message telling me that my lovely friend, Colette, from Serendipity Handmade had invited me to join a strange netherworld known as Pinterest.  Then, in a real stroke of serendipity, my lovely friend Vanessa, from Coco Rose Diaries, wrote a post about how she'd found Pinterest and was totally addicited.  I had to know more!




is an online network where you can surround yourself with beautiful images and post them to your personal virtual pinboards.

As far as I'm concerned this is food for the soul.

So many beautiful things to look at.  So many new websites to discover.

I already collect images here at home, tearing them out of magazines, slipping them into wallets or pinning them to my pinboard.

Imagine having access to all the images you could ever look at, alongside more pinboards than you can waggle a stick at, with the ability to select and organise those inspirational images just as you might want them.

For a visual person like me, with what some people might have called Monica-esque tendencies, it doesn't get much better. (For Monica-esque tendencies read "A little harmless dollop of OCD".)

Every image that is pinned is linked back to it's original source.  So by clicking on the image I can trace it back to it's website and find more gorgeous things.

Yowza.

You can find and look at my Pinterest pin boards here... 





Follow Me on Pinterest




Here is a taste of some of the creative things I've pinned...











All positively pin-worthy.

I love a good pom pom.  And is it just me or would you totally wear that apron out and about?  As for that knitted coat...  *Sigh*.  Oh, and those ballet slippers.  Things that make you go "ooooh".

Thank you Colette and Vanessa for giving me a nudge in the direction of Pinterest. 

I also wanted to let you know that over the past few weeks I've been getting my knit on.  I have photos to show you next time.  As well as a set of silver stacking rings I made back in May, and some more etched copper earrings I racked up in April.

Cripes.  It seems a rest is as good as a change when it comes to blog inspiration! (Apparently, lying in your winceyette nightie at 2pm in the afternoon, squeezing a cat while trying not to fall off the bed cos you're dizzy and a tad nauseaous, has big benefits when it comes to organizing your thoughts.  Every cloud, eh?) 

How has your week been?

What's your...




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Click on the widget to find out more. 

Then link up below and link back to Mimi and Tilly from your blog.  

That way we can come on over to see your Favourite Thing On A Friday.






What A Weekend!

I love Steve.

Sometimes he gets it so right, I just don't know what to do with myself.

Like yesterday.  When he met me off the train with a bouquet of flowers and the words many women long to hear...

"Do you fancy a look round Cath Kidston?"

I know.

Anyway, a happy half-hour later and I came out of the shop with this...











Thank you for my present Steve.  I love it.

 Today, we took ourselves off for homemade ice-cream and a picnic.

This is where we sat.























Then a storm swept in.








We watched it pass.








On the way home we bumped into Mark and Bo.  Mark has got a scrumdiddlyumptious VW camper van.  I got to ride in the van with Bo.

I've had a really great weekend.  What have you been up to?





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