Saturday, July 15, 2017

Days Off Work and Home Improvements.

Yet again, it's getting to be that crazy busy time of year at work (which is how it's the middle of July and I'm only getting around to updating in here just now) but I always try to record the quiet moments that happen on my days off  from the rush and chaos of my day job. I'm lucky really in that I do still love my job and only work four days in a row and then have two days off -- my days off are so incredibly precious at this time of year...

So here are a few snap shots from my recent days off...

...bubbles on the surface of my mug of hot chocolate! I love that they are multicoloured and so pretty. :)

I managed to finally get to the beach on my last lot of days off - just lately it seems to always be raining when I'm off work - but it was nice for a couple of hours last week. I brought my crochet and walked to one of my favourite spots right at the very end of the beach. It's incredibly peaceful there and I was so comfortable until it started to rain and I had to get back.

This is what I've been up to in the last few days -I'd sold the last of my headbands a couple of weeks ago and don't have any at all down in Lucy's shop in the village so I'm in full blown headband production mode at the moment. I've only got these three made so far and must make the matching flowers to go on them.

And here are a few home improvement photos -- a dear friend of the family is clearing out a house and gave me a load of bits and pieces for our home: including two of these amazing old glass battery jars! I had been using them upturned as little coffee tables but Peter's made this (the smaller one of the two) a wooden lid that sits into the opening at the top. I can now fill it up with sea shells etc :) :) 

 Cathy also gave me these two old stone wear bottles that are either side of the conservatory door and the ancient rug! I love our conservatory so much - it's so comfortable there (though it can get very hot if you don't keep the door open on a sunny day) and the rug really adds a 'finishing touch' to it.

 Finally here's a photo of our jasmine plant: I was worried that it might get too hot through the summer but it's sent up a lot of new growth so it must be happy!

Grow Your Own.

 Look at our tomatoes!! I bought these plants just over two months ago and they are doing so well in the conservatory. I had previously grown tomatoes outside in one of those rickety 'greenhouses' but they never did that well for me - growing tomatoes outside in Ireland is a bit of a challenge to say the least.

I will definitely grow more next year - buying individual plants was a great idea (rather than sowing a whole packet of just one variety) - so we have regular red tomatoes and then these yellow ones

and then these beefsteak ones as well.

The atmosphere in the conservatory must suit peppers as well as they are romping away too.

all of these (as well as the tomatoes) were bought from our local garden centre on Valentia...the exception is the bell pepper in the last photo: which I bought in Killorglin.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

More scrubbies! I have finished my order for 200 and am kind of glad to be back making wrist warmers and other stuff again - I have to admit that it wasn't as tedious as I thought it was going to be...I think because they are so small and relatively quick to make. I've sold another ten to someone in the zero waste Ireland facebook group and someone else said that they wanted 15 but I haven't heard back from her again yet.

Oh and I'm finally getting around to posting a photo of my new rings! I bought the trio of stacking rings to mark my 1000th Etsy sale and am just in love with them - they go so well with the little crab claw ring which I'd purchased previously from the same Etsy shop (to mark my 600th sale) I just ADORE them!!!

Saturday, June 3, 2017

The Start of Something Big...

I've been making my cotton scrubbies for a few years now; I started originally making them for myself and then decided to try selling them in my Etsy shop and at local markets. People usually pick them up and wonder what they are (I usually get asked if they are coasters!) but I'm always thrilled whenever anyone 'gets' what they are and buys some!

Recently a local soap-maker had been in touch with the idea of them selling them in their gift sets so I had a meeting with them and I'm so delighted that it was a big success.

They are a really amazing business Airmid  (click on the link to check out their website) and they've ordered two hundred scrubbies!!!

So to start me off I've ordered 18 balls of this gorgeous 'Pure Life' cotton from BlackSheepWools.

I love the quality of this cotton - sadly it's been discontinued (why??!!) so I was thrilled to find it still available online, though only in this one shade. I'm trying to get hold of another shade on Ebay so hopefully I won't be outbid.

Once the wool arrived I've only been making scrubbies - so far I've got sixty five made! It's a long way til I reach 200 but I'm happy with my progress.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Yet more wool...

 This is the replacement wool which PurpleLindaCrafts sent me - I love this shade, it reminds me so much of love birds and parrots (though the shade is called 'reggae')  - I haven't started to use it yet -- but these will all be made into crocodile stitch wrist warmers for Jaye.

I hadn't added any listings to my Etsy shop in a while but I had been busy crocheting away - so all of these are available online...I just had a text from Lucy to say that her shop will be opening at the end of this month so I need to sort out some stock for that too...

 The hat below is made from one of the yarns I bought in New York! It has a slight glittery thread running through the grey/black sections (it's hard to make out from the photographs) and is a 'thick and thin' yarn. I can't make my mind up about adding a flower to this or not...

I've made some more wrist warmers/cuffs for my Etsy shop too...

Saturday, May 6, 2017

New Wool!

 This is my latest order from PurpleLindaCrafts over in Scotland - I've ordered from her several times before without any issue at all however when this package arrived I thought that it didn't quite look right: she had sent me the wrong shade of King Cole's riot dk. It wouldn't normally be that much of an issue for me except that all these are for Jaye's latest order so I needed the correct shade. I rushed off an email to the company and they sent me the correct shade straight away AND said to keep the incorrect ones without charge!!  For me this is incredible customer service and now I have even more wool!!

 But wait...there's more...a friend of mine from Valentia gifted me all the yarn below which she'd found when she was having to clean out the house of her late uncle (who was one of my all-time favourite passengers on the ferry)

I'm so touched by Bernie's kindness and for thinking of me - I'm going to make myself a scarf and a matching headband or maybe a hat with the purple...

 It was really poignant to see that Charlie's late wife, Mary, had started on a jumper for someone and hadn't finished it (it's made me think about how many half-finished projects I have..)

 I think making the scarf set will probably be a winter project for myself as I'm busy trying to build up my stock levels for sale -- hopefully Lucy will be selling my hats and wrist warmers in her shop in the village again this year.

I'm rapidly running out of space for all this'll be easier once I've given Barbara all her hats and headbands as they are taking up a lot of space in my cupboard, but for the moment my wools from New York and these new ones are having just to stay in bags.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Only one blog update last month - that isn't very good..I shall have to try harder this month. I do like to keep note of things in here for myself - I never expect that anyone else really actually follows this (do they?) but it's still a handy way for me to jot things down and record things that did/didn't work etc.

So since I last wrote in here I've finished all the hats and headbands for Barbara's artists. She won't be here til the middle of next month but I always prefer to work without having to rush or to have to make them all in a short period of time. I made a headband for myself too as I like the design so much :)

Work on the ferry is going really well - we were very busy over Easter. The weather was just perfect (almost like summer!) so that brought more people round sightseeing.

The good weather couldn't last so we went from summer back to spring rather abruptly, with the result that I now have a horrible head cold!!

I'm lucky enough to have three days off this week though (as I had to work ten days off in a row to cover for Roger, who got sick) so this was pretty much my first day off ...

..lovely chocolates from the Skelligs Chocolate factory and then we went over to Valentia to Britta and Steffans' garden centre. Most of the flowers will be outdoors once it's that little bit warmers but I want to grow tomatoes and peppers in the conservatory so I've bought some of each. My friend Kate gave me some pepper and tomato seedlings too so hopefully they will all be successful.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017


Well I'm not really sure how it got to be nearly half way through April before I posted in here...I guess that's what happens when I go back to work...

I've finished the hats for the male artists in Barbara's annual retreat so I've been working on a headband design.

 Like the hats, it's made in 100% Irish wool - I love being able to use Irish wool for the hats for her artists - though the wool comes all the way from Donegal rather than Kerry woolen mills (I find it's softer than the local wool)

I'm quite happy with the design, if I say so myself - but am waiting to see if it gets the thumbs up from Barbara before I make the other ones. The flower is a double-layered sweetheart rose and the band itself is made in crochet rib so that it's stretchy and will comfortably fit. I've made it wide enough so that the ears are kept covered - I can't stand skinny headbands myself! 

Since I've gone back to work on the ferry of course my crochet production has drastically slowed down but here are some recent wrist warmers. 

I made this pair above in Cygnet's 'Boho Spirit' - it's a 100% acrylic yarn that actually feels soft and is pleasant to work with. I'd previously made crocodile stitch wrist warmers in it but thought I'd give the plain ones a go now - I'm going to make them out of the other two shades that I'd purchased online last year. 

And these two pairs are good old trusty 'Country Tweed' - Riot, why did you discontinue this lovely yarn??? 


Saturday, March 25, 2017

Shirley :D

My friend Shirley came over on holiday this week :) We hadn't seen each other since the last time she came over (two years this September) as the last couple of times we've gone to the UK we've been stretched time-wise.

So it's easier for her to come and visit us! She flew into Kerry airport - our local one - so it was only just over an hour til she was down here with us.

 As you can see, we did some bits and pieces of sight-seeing -- there is just SO much to see and do here, especially when the weather cooperates. We had some really glorious days - at least one wet one too but we just sat on the sofa and knitted/crocheted and chatted away happily. I love it when you feel that comfortable with someone that you don't have to be 'doing' stuff all the time to be happy with them.

 One of the places we did go to was Ballycarberry Castle, just outside Cahirciveen (we call it 'over the water' to be specific as you have to drive over a long bridge to get there.

I hadn't been there in years and years and years - definitely not since I moved back home (over ten years ago) - I must go back again, Peter would love it too.  It's well sign posted nowadays and gets a few tourists but it wasn't exactly busy when we went and we were able to go climbing and exploring.

After that we carried on down the road to Cahergal fort for a quick visit! It was a pretty windy day but the sun was shining and it was great to get some fresh air.

 Then later that afternoon I'd a text from a friend to say that she'd found a whale and a dolphin while she was walking on the beaches over the water - so we had our second trip there in the same day..

Apologies for the pretty sad (and graphic) photo but this is my first ever dead Risso's dolphin. I'd seen a pod of them once years and years ago when we were on the way to the Skelligs but this was the closest I've ever been to one.

 Following on from that, I thought I'd take us home the scenic route, only to get us lost up a little bothrín - I thought I'd seen a ruined church in the distance so I kept going - but it turns out that it was a 'peat works' back in the 1850s
 I never even knew that such a thing existed back then, let alone there be one locally.
You can see below how stunning it is there - I'm hoping to go back some time in the warm weather (on a not so windy day) now that I know where it is, and to go exploring! 

 Shirley went back home to Stroud yesterday but her flight wasn't until the afternoon, so we went for a walk along Rinnrua beach in the morning -- yes, it was yet another perfect day.

Over a couple of days I taught Shirley how to crochet! She already had a good grasp of the basics really, just needed help with finding the best way to hold the hook and the yarn so that she could do it comfortably and get a reasonable tension.

This is her finished pair of wrist warmers....I'm so pleased with how they turned out and I'm sure they won't be the last pair that she ever makes..

 On the way to the airport we went my most favourite route - taking the Bealach Óisín rather than the well-travelled Ring of Kerry. It does take you away from the sea, but the view is still amazing and there is so little traffic that it's a lovely drive.