Sunday, January 15, 2017

Hygge Trends for 2017

Being resourceful or too lazy to use a cable needle

Last weekend I got a copy of  The Little Book of Hygge: The Danish Way to Live Well, which explains the Danish concept of 'hygge'. Denmark is often said to be the happiest country in the world and they say that's down to one thing: 'hygge'. You see since going back to work I've been thinking 'Oh, I blinked, and Christmas was gone. Where did the day go? It just wasn't looooooong enough'.

It took me four days to properly unwind from work and for my brain to realise I was on holiday and during this time sleep eluded me. By Christmas Eve I was like a walking zombie...sigh! I just wish I could go back and celebrate it all over again (without the insomnia) but I can't. Therefore 2017 is going to be entirely different; stress about my mum's health and my own, fretting about work and endless worrying about Paul's unemployment are being given the heave-ho for hygge (pronounced hue-gah).

So what is 'hygge?' The Danes describe it as a word that is a feeling or mood that comes from taking genuine pleasure in making ordinary, every day moments more meaningful, beautiful or unique. How do the Danes create hygge and what makes them happy? The author Wiking mentions many factors, such as cosy homes, togetherness, board games, inviting friends over to enjoy food and drink. Candles are imperative - 85% Danes connect candles and the correct lighting with hygge.  For days and days, I've been poring over this book and talking the ears off Paul about how I would like 2017 to go. Now, this isn't me making New Year Resolutions, this is my attempt at surrounding myself with safeness, comfort and taking care of my mental health; to put it bluntly giving my mind and body a break.   So, what will mine look like?
  • Sofa slumping when I get home from work. Change: 20 minutes of yoga.
  • I watch way too much T.V. Change: Listen to more music, read a book or complete a jigsaw.✔
  • I always take showers for quickness. Change: Take more relaxing baths with candlelight.
  • Minimalist beauty routine. Change: Pamper sessions a couple of times a week, even if it's just a face mask or manicure.
  • Always in a hurry and go for the quick snack option which is usually loaded with nasties. Change: To eat more fruit and vegetables, drink more water every day. ✔
  • I hibernate in the winter months. Change: Take more exercise outside; walks with the dog.  
  • I focus too much on the negative things around me. Change: Start keeping an active thought jar. 
  • To make time for more crafting. ✔
  • To join more swaps online (current one: Mad About Bags) ✔
These are just a few of the changes I want to make at the moment.  I'm not going to stress out if I don't achieve them all each week, even one or two would be enough. The tick marks mean I've completed four this week...yeah! 

Recently I managed to resurrect some old WIP's (work in progress). The ancient WIP is a pair of mittens called Birchwood by Eskimimi. I bought this pattern way back in 2003 no 2013, and I made the first mitt then put the project away. I don't know why because at the time of making the left mitt I was enjoying the pattern and the wool; Debbie Bliss Rialto DK in Basil colour wave. So it's partner was completed last weekend. 

Another finish was my Opal Advent Calendar V-Stitch Blanket* I set myself the target of New Years Day for completing it, but I didn't meet that deadline. I think it was completed four days after this, which is cool. It felt special making it, and I didn't want to rush it or make a mistake, the border gave me the biggest headache because I knew it had to be just right.  I even used maths to ensure the border finished evenly,  and it worked!  The last blanket photo shows my thumb near the starting stitch and my index finger with the last stitch. It was just meant to be, it was fate!  Yes, out of all the crochet projects I've taken on board, this one is my favourite. It was just the best, best, best project ever. I don't know if it was the yarn colour changes or the excitement of making something beautiful just for me, I just don't know.  But do you know what? I think it could be described as a hyggeligt moment (cosy moment) for me to enjoy and enjoy I will!

xoxo xoxo


* Yarn used Opal (advent calendar yarn) and Adriafil Dolcezza Merino Baby.

Sunday, January 01, 2017

HaPpy NeW YeAr

                        See you all in 2017
                             Shirley, Paul

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Merry Christmas 2016

Little embroidered pincushion cottage for the stitchingsanta swap organised by Sewchet.

Little Angels made for colleagues at work and one for my mum too.  Pattern by Manuela Trani

A little treat for Christmas; the December edition of the crochet box, loads of goodies in this one.
I won this bag in a raffle organised by Jade Earley (The Girl With The Bright Red Hair) finalist in The Great British Sewing Bee. My ticket was picked second, first prize was a Janome sewing machine.
Gifts from the little boys and girls at work.

Christmas Eve tradtion; Mincemeat pie making and a little biscuit for Bean the dog as she can't have the fruit in the pies.

Stitching Santa swap; my gifts waiting to be unwrapped. We had to wait until Christmas Day to open them.
My beautiful Christmas gifts from Katrina (Rolling eyeballs) I received some beautiful bee and flower fabric, buttons, zips, chocolate, patterns, a marvel wallet and decoration.
My Christmas gifts from Paul. My favourite present is the Guillermo Del Toro book, this book contains Del Toro's ideas for films, his second home which is his studio and illustrations for projects. The turquoise ring in the corner is a yoga wheel to help my back flexibility.
Pauls Christmas gifts. He is a big Terry Pratchett fan. I was worried that his gifts looked too samey but he is over the moon with his loot. 

My favourite present. The illustrations are beautiful.
I'm from the era were metal tins of sweets were the norm. It's lovely to open one of these again instead of the plastic tubs that sweets come in now. Plus I will be able to keep this tin for my sewing bits and bobs.  
Image result for opal yarn advent calendar
The Opal Yarn Advent Calendar.

I've been opening my Opal yarn advent calendar each day and oohing and aahing over the colours as I go, but I couldn't decide what to make. I've seen others making sample crochet squares and socks and they are beautiful but the latter is just not me. So, when I happened upon the V stitch blanket today, I knew I had found my project.

Some of the gifts I put together for Tracy (mad about bags) as part of the Stitching Santa Swap organised by Sewchet.
A leaf mug rug, wonderful for resting your favourite beverage on.  I made one of these for my swap partner and mum. 

Merry Christmas 

and a 

Happy New Year

 to you all. 

Love Shirley 


Sunday, November 27, 2016

A little pre-christmas treat anyone? From now until the 30th of November I am giving a cool 20% off to all customers who make a purchase from my store Made By Sun Rae. This offer includes bags, stitch markers and knitted items. 
Just use code Rebelstitcher16 at checkout.

                          xoxo  xoxo

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Ways to Embrace Illness

 I'm slowly starting to feel a little Christmasy; the weather is getting colder, I've been making some cozy hats, wrapping up warm and drinking lots of piping hot chocolate.  I've also worn one of my Christmas jumpers for a special day at nursery.  But the one thing that is getting me excited about Christmas this year-I'm taking part in two swaps.  A Secret Santa Swap at work and a Stitching Santa Swap online.  I already know my work swap partner, and I've received my email from Sewchet telling me who my swap partner is online!! This is the first time I've taken part in this Stitching Santa Swap, and I'm so excited. I've been having a good look at all the blogs of the people participating and also stalking my swap partners blog to get some ideas.

What else have I been up to? I decided to subscribe to a craft box when I was off work poorly with an earache.  I had heard of the box a while back and did have a peek at it but never took the plunge.  Being ill kind of sealed the deal, you know needing a treat and a bit of cheering up.Lol! I initially thought I would just buy the Autumn Box and then cancel the direct debit, but this isn't going to happen now.  I was so impressed by the box contents (pattern book, crochet hook. yarn, sewing needle, ribbon, badge fittings, acorn stitch marker and squirrel badge) that I'm now thinking let's keep it up and see what the next few bring.  I was also quick of the mark and treated myself to the second book of Making called Fauna on the day it was released.  I missed the first books release and couldn't find a seller anywhere in the UK, so I made the decision to purchase it from abroad. The book arrived at the beginning of the week just past but I kept the viewing of it until this weekend; work was busy with a Care Inspectorate visit, and this was my treat for getting through it. I'm an oddball I know. 

I've also been busy, as I mentioned earlier, making hats.  Did you know Downton Abbey the TV series have their own yarn? I've never watched an episode even though I love period dramas and I'm probably way behind everyone else discovering the yarn.  I purchased a few different colours from Amazon, and I must say I'm pleasantly surprised.  The hat in the blog post is Hermione's Hat made in the Downton Abbey yarn named Matthew in the colourway Harvest Gold. This hat is going to be a firm favourite of mine for this winter; I can see me wearing it loads.  The second yarn I purchased at the same time is named Lady Mary; a gorgeous jewel red with silver strands running through it. This is also destined to be turned into a hat but nothing has jumped out at me pattern wise just yet.

Shop update:  Made by Sun Rae

I've added a few handknits for adults and children to my store and hope to add more in the following couple of days. Please pop over and have a look by clicking the link above or by using the Folksy button on the side-bar.

I will be back soon with some more goodies and news.  I'm going to go now and top up the bird feeders in the garden. Stay warm and be good to yourselves. 

Much love

xoxo xoxo