About Me

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United Kingdom
Hi there & welcome to Annie's Place. A place inspired by and named after my late Grandmother Annie. Somewhere I can be creative, and share my love for all things hand made. I like nothing better than sitting with hook & yarn, crafting something home spun & completely unique, or rustling up some yummy baked goodies. I live in a town with a beautiful embankment, situated on the River Great Ouse. You may know me as 'Colour-Heaven' on Flickr or 'CosyKitty' on Ravelry. Why not stop a while.....?!!

Tuesday, 26 July 2016

Donate for your chance to win a Crochet Blanket!

Dearest readers, you may remember back in March I mentioned a lovely lady had messaged me about using my Happy Flower Block in a Charity Blanket Project

Well Sally has finished the project and is now fundraising for her chosen charity 'Friends of the Elderly'


I know you lovely lovely lot will appreciate all the time and effort that has gone into making this happen, so with that in mind I'm here to let you know that you are in with a chance of winning this gorgeous blanket, and a bonus cushion cover to boot with as little as a £2 donation! 

You could be the proud owner of these lovely handmade items with just a small token gesture, which will go a long long way to helping Sally achieve her goal of £500 for a very worthwhile cause. 


Your help in spreading the word about this 
would be very much appreciated. 

You could be the lucky recipient of this wonderful prize!
Thank You & Good Luck
xx

Monday, 13 June 2016

Still here....

With so much fear and suffering in the world today, I like to take a moment to appreciate the simple things in life. I was fortunate enough to spend much of last week relaxing in the beautiful surrounds of the Dorset Coast. The chance to escape, de-stress and completely unwind was much needed.






































The weather was thankfully on our side, and we had a blissful few days relaxing, eating, crafting. I made the most of the opportunity to crochet outside. My blanket is still progressing, and I'm happy with it, especially as I've managed to tidy away all the yarn tails thus far. 






































There is so much beauty in this world we live in, and it devastates me that there are people who are so disturbed they seek to destroy innocent lives. For what? Most of us just want peace, and the chance to live freely. I have an overwhelming sense of grief for all those that have ever been affected by terrorism, but particularly the LGBT community who are the latest target.

I was so very nearly caught up in the 7/7 atrocities in London 2005. I can remember that day as though it were yesterday. When will this madness ever end......?






































I really felt the need to acknowledge what has happened over the weekend in Orlando, and I'm deeply saddened that my first post back after several weeks absence had to include this. I had such a wonderful time away, every moment was well spent and this has sickened me to my core. However, I am not going to let this dampen my spirit. I am more determined to live life to the fullest, and I hope you will too!






































The views were spectacular from the accommodation we stayed in. From every room we had an amazing vista. It was pure joy opening the curtains each morning. 

Now I'm back home, I am beavering away on a side project for my sister. A bag similar to this one, in a different colour. It's working up really well, and I hope to share it with her and you soon.

There's so much going on at the moment, what with the Queen's 90th birthday celebrations, the Euro Football Champs, the lawn tennis season is upon us too. Not to mention the Olympics around the corner. So much great sport to get excited about. I love the way it brings nations together. I for one will be cheering on all our home teams in the football, tennis players at Queen's Club and Wimbledon, and the GB athletes on the road to Rio. 

Love to All 
Sharron xx

Saturday, 30 April 2016

Happy Flower in Acrylic progress : Fixer Upper

Hey y'all*, still here, still pootling along with my Happy Flowers in Acrylic Yarn. Construction is slow, but very enjoyable nonetheless.

I've loved seeing them take shape! Messing around with different colour combinations is my favourite thing to do. 

You'll be pleased to know that I won't be doing my usual whinging about yarn tails this time, as I'm fastidiously sewing them in as I go along. Pat on the back for me!

The joining process is so much fun. I'm using Stylecraft Special DK in Parchment, and it's working up really nicely.

So here is a collage of the whole construction from Round One to joining at Round Seven. Love making these circles turn into squares. Such a simple motif. 

In fact I'm making another bag at the moment with the same pattern, but in Cotton. It should be lovely for Summer outings. 

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Source

I'm sure most of my stateside readers know who those two lovely smiley people are pictured above?! For those that don't that's Chip and Joanna Gaines. A few months ago I came across their home renovations show Fixer Upper now showing on ITV in the UK. I'm probably very late to the party, but to say I have fallen in love with these two is an understatement. 

I have binge-watched every show available and can't wait for the next season to hit these shores. They take run down homes in and around Waco Texas, and totally transform them. If any of my UK readers haven't come across Chip & Jo yet, you really must take a look! Word of warning though, be prepared to be sickened by what you can get for very little money out there in Texas compared to here in the UK. Chip and Jo would be horrified to know what we pay for property this side of the pond! It's actually a crime.....

They have created quite an empire out there in Waco, and they deserve every bit of the success they've had. Talk about workhorses, four kids, several businesses, phew it makes me tired just thinking about it. I just wish I lived out there so I could visit the Silos, their latest venture. Do let me know if any of you lovely readers live nearby there?!! I'd love to know if you've visited Magnolia Market???

Btw Joanna Gaines has a lovely blog which you might want to take a look at here......

Till next time

Much love 
Sharron x


*been watching far too much 'Fixer Upper' #shiplap #demoday ;)

Friday, 8 April 2016

Stoke Bruerne & Springtime Crochet

April has arrived, the days are getting longer, and I feel a spring in my step. I had the opportunity to take a trip out earlier this week to a place not too far from home. Somewhere I'd wanted to visit for a while, a beautiful little gem of a place called Stoke Bruerne situated on the Grand Union Canal in Northamptonshire.


After a leisurely drive west, we arrived at our destination to the sun just peaking out through the clouds. I was optimistic that the afternoon would be fine and dry for our little jaunt up and down the locks. The weather's been a bit hit and miss here just lately, so we were fortunate to pick the best day of the week. 


As I drove into the village I noticed what looked like a public car parking area, so I decided to just follow the car in front. Once in the car park I realised we'd actually driven into the parking area of one of the local public houses 'The Navigation', which sits right on the canalside. A beautiful spot to while away the hours, with a nice tipple or bite to eat.

Despite the temptation to stop in for some refreshments, we wanted to explore a bit first so drove a little further into the village to find a public car park. Sure enough we found the Pay & Display that's right next to the Canal Museum, and for £3 per car it was very convenient and reasonably priced.


Not wanting to waste a moment of the dry bright weather we set to walking along the canal towpath, following the locks downstream first, then back up through the heart of the village towards the Blisworth Tunnel. It was a lovely few hours, spent blissfully unhurried.  


There was a hint of Summer warmth in the air, a little taste of what's (hopefully) to come in the months ahead. I can't wait to spend more lazy days in the same fashion. The simple things eh?.....






































Crochetwise I've been on a mission to hook up several Happy Flower Blocks. But instead of crocheting a whole block one at a time I'm deviating from my usual method and crocheting several of each round, building them in stages. After making a few in Acrylic to donate to Sally's charity project last month, I got the urge to do more. 






































So here are my efforts thus far. I'm hoping this method will keep me motivated for the long haul, as I want to make a blanket. Most of the colours here are Stylecraft Special DK. I'm making the best of the limited palette I have available. This yarn does go a long way, so hopefully it will  stretch to a decent sized project.

Onto round 4...........

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!
Much love x x x 

Monday, 21 March 2016

Crochet Granny Squares Bag Reveal : Camden Lock : Jef Kearns

We are speeding through March, heading towards the Easter Bank Holiday Weekend. It's still very nippy here in my corner of Bedfordshire, and the forecast for the Easter break is far from favourable. Ah well, you never know what might happen.....






































At the end of my last entry here I did hint at what I've been working on. A crochet bag no less. My very first attempt at something like this. Heavily inspired by a couple of crafters who offer fantastic free tutorials. 

The first being the late Marinke (Wink) of A Creative Being. Very much missed in our community. Her squares bag pattern is awesome, and definitely a fantastic resource for any would-be bag maker. The other source of inspiration came from Brittany at B.Hooked Crochet, who offers some step-by-step video tutorials.






































Now I know some of you like to know the particulars, so I'm just going to mention the materials I used. I'm not sponsored and gain no incentive for mentioning them here, but like to give you a bit more info should you wish to replicate this for yourself. 

The yarn is Stylecraft Classique Cotton DK in Shrimp (3674). 3 balls was sufficient for me to make this size bag which consists of 24 squares (pattern from B.hooked link above), worked up on a 4mm hook. The lining material is Bhandari Chennai in the Reena Colourway, that I sourced from a local independent department store. I bought a metre and that would easily line 2 bags, so I have some left over for another project. 






































I hand-lined the bag as I do not have a sewing machine, nor have any experience of using one. I'm pleased with the overall finish considering I didn't have a clue. I very nearly didn't bother, as I thought I'd make a hash of it. With a little thought, and a bit of trial and error I sussed it out. So glad I didn't just give up. 

The handles I purchased from Hollie Craft on Ebay. I plumped for 2 pairs as it worked out slightly cheaper than buying a single pair. I'm sure I'll be making another bag sometime in the near future so made perfect sense. The big button is from Hobbycraft, the brand is Vogue Star and colour reference 123.

So there you have it, my first handmade bag! 
I look forward to using it........






































Before I go, I thought I'd share a couple of collages from a recent trip to Camden Lock Market in London. I drove down, parked opposite Regent's Park and sauntered through Primrose Hill, along the canal tow path to the market.

It's been some years since I've been there, and let me tell you it's VAST. Goodness me, the sights and smells were a feast for the senses. I enjoyed having a good browse amongst the hundreds of stalls. Just wish I had endless pots of cash to spend! Suffice to say I had to be very disciplined. 






































Did I mention the food? OMG, the food stalls/outlets/restaurants are on another level. There is something for every palate. The only thing that puts me off is how busy it gets. This was a quiet Friday afternoon in Winter and it was still bustling. The Summer must be a nightmare! 

Don't get me wrong I like the vibe of the place, but it's never pleasant when there's hundreds of bodies trying to occupy the same square metre of space. 

Just one last thing before I do disappear, and btw thanks for staying with me till the end. I know I've waffled on a bit. But I wanted to share with you this amazing flautist who I've just been introduced to. His name is Jef Kearns, and I love this instrumental track in particular entitled 'Lavender'. 


This will be the soundtrack to my Summer this year.......

Till next time
x x x x

Friday, 4 March 2016

Lunchtime hooky : All for a good cause

I'm welcoming in March with a little bit of hooky for a wonderful cause. I received a very sweet message last month from a lady who had come by my pattern for the 'Happy Flower Block'.

Sally very generously said she had 'fell in love' with it and wondered if I minded her using this motif in a community fundraising blanket project for 'Friends of the Elderly'. A fantastic charity supporting older people in our community. Very apt as my blog is dedicated to the memory of my late Grandmother Annie (pictured in my side bar), who would be just over 100 years old were she still with us today. 

Well of course I was more than happy for Sally to go ahead and use the pattern, and as my little contribution I've hooked up a few squares to add to the collection she is steadily accumulating through her Facebook Page

As Sally plans on using the 7th round of my pattern as the joining round she only requires squares made up to round 6, so I set to the task of doing just that this lunchtime whilst supping on some hot tea and chomping on a Turkey Mayo sandwich. Can't think of a better way to spend a couple of hours tbh. 'Twas lovely.......

As Sally has favoured Stylecraft's Special DK as the preferred yarn for the project (although she welcomes any similar Acrylic being utilised too) I used it as a justifiable excuse *cough cough* to do a little online shopping to purchase more supplies. 

If any of you lovely readers are interested in supporting Sally on this journey, I do hope you will pop by her FB page HERE for all the details. 

In other news, I'm attempting my first crochet bag project. 
Wish me luck...........xx

Thursday, 4 February 2016

Hello February : Crafty & Cosmic Pursuits

Happy February All. It sure has come around quick! I'm pleased to say the sun is shining today, and with the days lasting that little bit longer I feel energised and positive for the month ahead. A great big thank you is in order for all the wonderful feedback you left for my granny square blanket. I love to hear from you, so do make yourself known. Yes that means YOU! sitting there unsure whether to comment........I don't bite, promise xx 






































To mix things up a bit I've been dipping in and out of a few projects. I bought some new yarn at the back end of last year from a local craft supplies store. The soft snuggliness of it and the subdued colour palette won me over. It's Jarol Shetland Mist DK, an 80% Acrylic/20% Wool mix available in 100g balls.

I'm just playing around with it at the moment, experimenting with a simple 5 round circle in a square pattern. Changing colours the first 3 rounds, with the same colour for the squaring off part, and using a join as you go technique. It's been very relaxing.



The scarf I started last year has been resurrected, with a determination to have it finished whilst there's still a need for it. Famous last words! I made a bit of an error in judgement with this one. I had the bright idea that I'd like something with horizontal stripes, but didn't factor in the hundreds of rows it would take to create something remotely big enough to sufficiently wrap around my neck. It's got to be warm right? otherwise what's the point? Not to mention the hundreds of yarn tails to painstakingly sew in, grrrrr......

This is the moment when I think I should've just gone to Primark and paid a couple of quid for a mass-produced factory made scarf. Is this effort really all worth it? Yes of course it is Sharron I hear you cry, and I agree but boy does it take some patience.

I know there's nothing like handmade and that is what drives me on, but I HATE HATE HATE tidying yarn tails. And yes you guessed it, I left them until I was some 120 rows in before deciding I really should do something about them. When will I ever learn? Like letting the air out of a big balloon, my passion for this project began to seriously wane.

But now the bulk of those pesky ends have disappeared and I have a renewed enthusiasm for it! So watch this space for the end product, it should be all done and dusted sometime soon.






































Next up I'd like to try out some cross stitch from the lovely book pictured above 'Storyland Cross Stitch' by Sophie Simpson (aka Delilah). I was super lucky to find it in my local branch of 'The Works' for only £3 (RRP UK £14.99). It's such a pretty book, beautifully put together.

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Before I leave you I just wanted to mention something that's had me gripped over the last couple of months. Some of you will already be aware of this but for those that don't know, Major Tim Peake, a British Astronaut currently living and working aboard the ISS (International Space Station) took his first space walk recently. The significance of which was massive, as it's the first time a Brit has ever walked in space.

I have followed Tim's journey, and felt privileged to watch the whole space walk live from start to finish on NASA TV which was amazing, if not a tad scary. It has ignited a real fascination in me about space, and I've been keeping up with Tim's day to day via his awesome Instagram feed.

The reason I'm mentioning this here is because last night I went out to spot the ISS as it passed overhead during one of it's 16 orbits per day. I drove out into the countryside to get the best possible viewpoint, where light pollution is at a minimum. Fortunately there was a clear sky, and I could see a multitude of stars, so I felt confident I would spot the ISS with little trouble. 

Sure enough at 6:47pm there or thereabouts I saw a bright light moving swiftly across the night sky. Quite incredible to think Tim and his colleagues were up there, flying past at over 17,000 miles per hour. Within a couple of minutes it was gone. I admit to waving though not too sure they'd have seen me, lol......

Anyway, if you'd like to see the ISS with your own eyes then you can check out when it will be flying over your part of the world here

Until next time
x x x 
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