Pasteque and Crochet Hooks

Hello my friend. It’s been a while – sorry.

It’s been rather an intense few weeks with lots of Finca jobs to do. Despite my efforts, annoyingly many are still languishing on my to-do list. With the lovely long, warm (mostly) summer days, the time has passed in a sort of blurry breeze. There has been lots and lots of crochet goodness to keep me occupied, which on the whole, I have undertaken under a shady tree in the garden with a pot of green tea with lemon – yum!

Last week we were due to go and spend time with family, so I packed as much yarn as I could get away with. I stowed my finest merino wool in my hand luggage (I mean, Mr D-F’s luggage – it was bigger) and checked with the airport and airline that my crochet hooks wouldn’t be taken off me – I actually got a very lovely response from Gatwick about this. They obviously appreciate the importance of having some crochet-on-the-go in every situation.

view towards Monaco

… the view towards Monaco …

We had a lovely time and I ate a serious amount of my favourite foods; pissaladiere, barbajaun, pasteque…

…we watched the fish swimming in amongst rocks and boat hulls and shrieked when they came to try and take a nibble of our legs!

Both plane journeys were pretty bumpy and I’m afraid I was not cool, calm and collected. I felt sorry for the man sitting next to me (not Mr D-F – the man on my other side)! I could see him having a little snigger whenever the plane decided to pretty much barrel-roll through the clouds and cause me to emit pathetic whimpers.  I did offer him some of my m&ms, which I think smoothed things over. The only thing that finally forced me to relax was to concentrate on my latest crochet pieces…

Thyme bag charm

Thyme flower bag charm available on Etsy

I have been so excited since I decided to make a range of key rings/bag charms that represent some of the most familiar Andalusian plants and flowers.  Now that I have the whole set completed, I keep swapping which type I wear on my bag because I can’t decide which is my favourite.  Currently, it’s between Prickly Pear and Aloe Vera.

crochet carnival bunting

… carnival bunting …

I also have lots of new bits to photograph and put in the shop (like the bunting above, which creates serious fiesta vibes once hung), some raggedy bits of garden to tidy up and a little dog to walk.

Speak soon x

Holiday Essentials Challenge

I have a little challenge for you…  and I’m sorry if it is tipping down with rain where you are (it is here too) or if the thunder and lightning seems to be shaking the roof off your house and a relaxing holiday seems a distant thought.

For this challenge you might have to do a bit of imagining…

I was contacted by the people at HomeAway – a holiday company – to come up with 5 things that I would be lost without when on holiday.  I promise you, they didn’t offer me an ‘all expenses paid’ trip to the Maldives to have a go at this and they haven’t given me a million pounds (or anything) to write this post, but as I saw it as a bit of fun, I decided to have a go anyway!

Now, I initially said ‘bit of fun’ but actually the whole process was slightly stressful for my brain. I mean, only 5 things? What if I left out something really important? Maybe I should only list practical things? Breathe…

Firstly, it’s your turn.

holiday essentials challenge

Imagine you are on a wonderful holiday – where would it be? Are you staycationing, being trendy in a camper van? Are you on a beach in the South of France? Are you doing something brave and extreme like abseiling down massive cliffs?

I chose a warm, sunny, quiet beach. Preferably somewhere with unbelievably good food.

Once you have chosen your dream destination, you need to come up with 5 things that you would take with you to make your holiday the best ever.

Here are mine (yes, the food came first):

A picnic - olives, ham, melon - the works!

This talking of holidays is making me feel even more wistful for a beach, a glass with an umbrella in it and a good book, but for now, I think I might just have to re-create this in the garden – when it stops raining.  Hmmm…

I’d love to know what you would take and where you would go.

Speak soon x

 

 

A Whimsical Thrill :: Crochet Heart Door Hanging

You know how much I love a whim… and I had to share this one with you because it is such a quick and fun way to brighten up a doorway (or in fact, anything). So, while in the midst of making the last few remaining squares for my festival blanket – only 12 more to go – and finishing off some lovely commissioned pieces, I felt like making something colourful for the back of our front door.  As we’re still in the middle of decorating, the front hallway is still looking a little cold and needed cheering up.

crochet heart blocking

… blocking my heart with starch …

I did a bit of a search and found such a huge array of lovely decorations on Pinterest; from little birds to wreaths and garlands – all made out of crochet.  Then I came across this pattern for colourful hearts. It’s easy to follow and for the centre section, you are directed to use this pattern (which, don’t panic, has an English translation)!

The only thing to bear in mind, is that the patterns are written in US crochet terms so you have to do a bit of mental jiggery if you’re used to working in UK terminology. There’s always this handy chart from Simply Crochet Magazine to help.

crochet heart door hanging

… I added some buttons and a tassel and voila …

I’m so happy with it. It makes me smile every time I look down the corridor or come home and  I am already thinking of the different ways that I could use more hearts (any excuse)…

Right, back to these squares now… 114, 115 …

Have a great day x

May’s Greats

Thinking back to the beginning of the month, I remember wishing for a bit of sunny, warm weather.  We spend a lot of time outside and I was getting desperate to finally hang up my waterproofs and be able to go out without a coat. Well although we are set for a bit of rain this week, I feel really lucky to have had some lazy, bright days out in the garden, walks by the coast when the sea is so clear you can see the bottom and dog walks through cool woods filled with early summer flowers.

I’ve loved looking at pictures that my friends have put online of evening beach walks, families enjoying a (probably pretty cold) dunk in the sea and newly painted garden sheds.

May's Greats

… the highlights of my May …

As you can see from my round-up picture of May, there was quite a lot of crochet involved (as always)! I started some new commissions this month; I love the beginning of a new project, the preliminary discussions and seeing how it develops as the design evolves.

I’m also almost finished making all of the colourful squares for my festival blanket.  This has been one of my favourite projects EVER.  I wanted to create a blanket that could be taken with families to festivals, used to make a tent cosy when camping, placed on the seats of a camper van or to be used out on picnics.  I wanted something really colourful and joyful but made with yarn that was not fussy and could be thrown into the wash only to come out as good as new. No one wants to panic if someone spills pickle on the picnic blanket!  Within the next few days I’ll make a final decision on how the colours will go together before I start joining the squares up, which I am really looking forward to.

So looking towards the new month, I’m hoping for one just as colourful, with some more warm weather please! I am wishing for lots of good times with friends and a bit of discovery of new places.  What are you hoping for? x

Dorset To A Tea

I was really honoured this week to be featured in Dorset Tea’s DORSET TO A TEA series, which  provides a glimpse into the lives (and work) of Dorset’s inhabitants.

After sending me a delicious variety of tea to try (I’ll tell you my favourites in a minute), I was asked to answer questions such as:

  • What inspires you about living in Dorset?
  • How did you get to do what you do?
  • What is your fondest Dorset memory?

lavender in the garden

… the feature photo of mine that Dorset Tea chose …

Although I find answering questions about myself a bit hard, I loved recalling my fondest memories of growing up in such a great county. I could have chosen so many, such as taking trips down to the beach in the late evening to have a piece of chocolate on the beach and camping in the middle of nowhere only to find a deer pretty much sticking her head through the tent in the early morning.

Dorset Tea in mug

… my favourite mug with my favourite Dorset Tea …

I have taken my role as tea-sampler very seriously this week and have gone about the process quite methodically, ensuring that I don’t miss out on something special. Mr D-F is a bit more haphazard with his method, but no less enthusiastic! I think my current favourites are Foraged Fruits and Strawberry and Cream, whereas Mr D-F says that nothing can beat Dorset Tea’s English Breakfast.

pack of four crochet coasters

… this calls for new coasters …

With all the tea-excitement I had to even break out a new set of beautifully thick, cotton, crochet coasters. No water rings are going to get past these!

If you would like to read the Dorset Finca’s Dorset To A Tea article, please click here.

Have a lovely Sunday x

My Goals For May

April came and went in a flash and I can’t believe that we’re already ankle deep into May.  With this in mind, I thought that I should think about the month a bit more strategically and try and fit in all the things that I have had on my mind over the last few weeks.

may goals the dorset finca

Many of my goals for the month are a little insight in how desperate I am for some more outside time in warmer weather and they are definitely goals that can be achieved together. A lazy lunch outside with some fruit tea in a teapot while practising French sounds pretty good to me.

What are your aims for the month? x

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