April Updates

…and take a breath!

Things have been mega busy at the Finca recently with some decorating, planting and of course masses of crochet.  In between all of the franticness, we have been making extra efforts to take ourselves outside, forget the job lists and spend a few hours going on a long walk through the woods or fields.

Letting your mind go a bit blank for a while, as you appreciate what is directly in front of you, is what’s needed if your head feels like a tangle of alphabetti spaghetti.

breathe graphic

In the times that I have not been outside, taking some deep breaths and reminding myself not to self combust over the tasks for the day, I have been…

gift wrapping

… having far too much fun with gift wrapping …

Last weekend I sent off some custom orders that I had been working on.  I get such a thrill from wrapping up the items in soft, organza bags, writing a little note to go to each customer in their parcel and then sealing everything up ready to take to the post office. It’s a stationery geek thing, I’m sure of it!

 dorset finca cowls flatlay… playing with product photography …

Having only had my Etsy shop open for a few months, I have been researching, asking advice and trialling things until I am happy with the results.  It’s been a learning curve that has been exciting, fulfilling and at times a little frustrating but I think I’m getting the hang of it and I ADORE having my own shop front on the internet high street. (Although I think my shop is more round the back than on the actual high street)!

Dorset Finca Cotton Cowl

… playing with lighter textures for Spring/Summer …

When many people think of crochet, warm, fuzzy and cosy images spring to their mind with perhaps another image of someone on a winter’s walk wrapped up in lashings of merino wool. However, I have been trying to figure out ways to change people’s perceptions just a little bit. Crochet can very much be something for warmer weather too. The amazing crochet outfits in the sunny weather at Coachella are a case in point.  With this in mind, I’ve been making fun, colourful and robust outside blankets – perfect for families who love the outdoors, festival bunting and cowls made from light and airy cotton (like the Blossom Cowl in the picture above).

Have a great week. x

Dreaming of Summer

I’m not sure whether it is because the birds are starting to sing loudly in the mornings or that for the first time in months, I’m not in total darkness as I go about my early morning jobs but I’m already starting to think a lot about summer.  It might be that I’m also beginning to plant out some of the hardier plants which will really come into their own during June and July – therefore shifting my mind towards the warmer seasons.

I was looking through my pictures this morning and I remember taking this one distinctly…

generous gardener david austin rose

Oddly, last week I had just bought another one of these roses (The Generous Gardener – David Austin). It’s my all-time favourite and I was desperate to have one growing up the wall of my new garden. The blooms are large and plentiful throughout the summer and my last one was particularly good at resisting the advances of aphids and any other little invaders.  It also has an incredibly beautiful scent.

This photo really spoke to me. It reminded me of going out into the garden to pick herbs to use with supper and flowers to put on the table in the kitchen.  Those warmer days when so much time is spent outside.

Those days are just around the corner but for now, I’ll get back to my hot cup of tea, work out which variety of woollen jumper will be most suitable for the day and head on out into the chilly air.

Speak soon x

Happy Valentines

I wanted to write a quick post to share the love with you on Valentines Day.  At the Finca, we aren’t really into the traditional Valentines Day excitements – it’s far too hard for Mr D-F to remember, so we decided to let go of the pressure of gifts and just enjoy our day together, whatever that may entail.

Today we started our day with a short meditation from the Headspace App – all the more necessary because I have had the world’s worst cold and we’ve been a little stressed out lately.

We aren’t sharing cards over the breakfast table. Instead we have got two cups of hot chai, hot toast and an OS map to scour over and choose a new adventurous walk for us all to embark on later.

I’ll take some photos of where we end up (keep an eye out on FB and Instagram)… I’ve got to go and load the car up with snacks for the road.

yarn heart

I hope you have a wonderful day planned and if you see two people dressed head-to-toe in waterproof clothing, with a scruffy dog, looking a little lost – come and say hi and join in our Valentines fun!

x

A Very Wet Weekend

I’m not one to shy away from a bit of challenging weather. There’s something quite satisfying about putting on full waterproofs, wellies and as much wool as one can wear.

Maybe it was that we seem to have had nothing but rain or wind for the past 3 months and I’m feeling the drudgery seep in, or perhaps the almost-gale-force winds and persistent heavy rain this weekend was a bit much.   In any case, all I felt like was a cosy room, chai tea, some retro films and a new crochet project to play with.

amaryllis

This amaryllis, which was a present from a lovely friend at Christmas, is certainly cheering up the kitchen at the moment. I am always completely amazed how a stem, quite so enormous, can grow out of just a mere tangerine-sized bulb. I can’t wait to see how the flowers look once they are fully emerged.

crochet cowl beginnings

I have really enjoyed working The Pebble cowl, shown here, in a richer Damson colour.  I am already scouring the yarn colour charts for some new variations – I have a hankering for some stripes.

I hope you’re managing to keep out of the rain and wind. Pour yourself another cup of tea and definitely have that slice of cake you’re eyeing up. It’s the only solution!

See you soon x

Welcome February

Ok, so I’ve done another switcharoo.  Can I not sit still for one minute? Seems not.

I had a bit of writer’s block. Bloggers’ block you could call it. I had spent so much time, effort and *ahem money on changing my blog over to a self-hosted site. As I was blogging regularly and loving every minute, I thought that this would be the technological icing on the cake; I was convinced that it was going to give my blogging experience such a lift…

… and it did.  For a bit. However, in my contrary nature, it also had a bit of an opposite effect on my motivation levels. I am well aware that we have just moved house and life has been mega hectic, but something happened to my bloggy-joy when I had to ensure that I backed up everything weekly, pay my hosting company monthly, etc. etc. I longed to be back in the comforting nest of wordpress where all I had to worry about what was I wanted to photograph and write about.

So I finally did it. On Monday actually. I pulled the plug on the whole self-hosting stress that my blog had developed into…

…and I couldn’t be happier. Yes, I have a little less creative control (although wordpress.com seem to be giving bloggers more and more freedom in this respect), but I have a new theme, pretty colours and fonts to choose from and no more stress. I’m going to ditch the pressure that I have been piling on myself and just post the things that I (and hopefully) you, will like.

I shall start with my Instagram round-up from January. Muddy, windy and woolly. Perfect.

january round up

NB: While the blog is still settling back into it’s old skin, there may be a few issues with media files. I.e. where pictures don’t load properly. 

A Mid-Week Update

As things settle down in the new Finca, I’m determined to get back to a more regular posting schedule. However, for the moment, it may be a bit more ad-hoc than some of my earlier pre-planned posts.  So, with this New Year spirit in mind, I thought I would share with you some of the bits and pieces that I have been up to so far this week…

The weather has been pretty much as miserable as possible for our early morning dog walks.  Nevertheless, Brinks and I cover ourselves with as much waterproof clothing as we can manage and set out to find adventure.

race horses on the gallops

 

One of our favourite sights are the racehorses out for their morning exercise. Even if it’s pretty murky, we stand by the gate and watch to see how fast they can run.

Once back from our walks there is a necessity to take time to dry off and have a cup of tea. This week, I have been using these moments to play around with crochet collars. I’m thinking about the springtime already and the freedom of being able to forego the mass of scarves that usually adorn my neck…. and I was inspired by the idea of a light and delicate collar necklace to finish off a plain top.

I found this great free pattern, and although I had to adapt it slightly, I was very pleased with the results. Isn’t it cute?!

crochet collar

 

After (*another) exciting delivery of yarn, I also couldn’t resist starting my high contrast ‘sea glass’ scarf.  It will be very similar to this scarf currently in the shop (which was primarily designed with House of Colour Springs in mind), however with the contrasting pinks and blues in this new version, this is definitely one for those who have been analysed as Winters.

high contrast sea glass scarf

It’s already growing quite fast as I can’t take my hands away from the beautiful smoothness of this particular yarn and of course the startlingly amazing colours!

 

So that’s where I’m up to so far this week. Apologies if you have already seen these photos in either my Facebook or Instagram feed. My phone is my friend at the moment when it comes to taking pictures and juggling a small, highly inquisitive puppy!

Speak soon x

 

 

2015 – A Year of Changes

It amazes me that 2015 is already about to come to an end and the newness of the next year is so very close. For us, at the Finca, this has been an incredibly busy year, full of changes. The absence of regular posts was a definite hint that there was a lot going on and in all honesty, this is the first occasion where I have had a minute to sit at the computer and write to you.

allium bulb

 

… alliums were my absolute garden favourite of 2015 …

The first mega-change this year came with the arrival of Brinkley.  Maybe less of the arrival and more of the whirlwind as we have been kept more than occupied with all of his cute and crazy antics.  He is starting to settle himself comfortably into his adolescence and loves to be given jobs and tasks to do to keep his little terrier mind on track. Collecting the socks from the washing basket is his current favourite!

baby brinkley lakeland terrier

 

… Brinkley back in the day …

brinkley at 4 months lakeland terrier

… at four months …

Whilst getting to grips with being dog-parents we suddenly decided to move the Finca to a new home. I don’t know what came upon us, but we are very happy that an evening chatting about next steps over coffee turned into a full-scale house move. I can’t wait to share with you what excitements the new Finca holds… there is a little walled garden *squeal* and the prospect of more decorating! The main reason for the move was that we needed a bit more space and it is the next step on the journey to moving the Finca family more into the Mediterranean sunshine.

The other exciting piece of newness is…

…drumroll please…

…the grand opening of my Etsy shop – hurrah! No surprises that it houses a lot of crochet!

sail away coasters

By having a shop, I can crochet all I like without worrying about when I will get time to wear it all. Now I can make it for other people too.  I am still busy filling it with stock as my latest commissions have taken up a lot of my crochet-time recently. I have spent lots of hours deliberating what to actually fill it with as I have so many things that I like to make.  For now, I want to really concentrate my creative attention to scarves and warmer-weather alternatives to scarves (you’ll see what I mean as Easter draws nearer). As a massive scarf-wearer myself, I know the power that the right colour near to your face can have and I love the feeling when you get people stopping you on the street to say…

“I’m sorry, but I just had to say that I love that scarf!” 

What a buzz!

So, that’s you up-to-date for now. Bring on the New Year and let us all have a cracking one!

xx