Tuesday, 29 June 2010

The place wot I live in

I feel very lucky to live in the historic village of Kings Norton, about 5 miles south of Birmingham city centre.

I'm a stone's throw from the village green, home to some of the most beautiful old buildings the city has to offer. St Nicholas church is a 13th century building, although documents prove there has been a church on the same spot since at least the 11th century.

Within the church grounds stands the Old Grammar School, which is one of the oldest educational buildings in the country, believed to have been built in the 15th century.

Together with The Saracen's Head, a medieval building turned coaching inn, The Grammar school won £3m from the BBC Restoration project back in 2004. The money was used to fully refurbish the school and create St Nicholas place on the site of the old pub. This tourist and community centre is a great place to visit for a coffee when in the area.

All this history aside, I'm down at 'The Green' most days, it has everything I need. A Spar, post office, bank, charity shop and a fantastic greasy cafe. My top two favourite shops though, at The Natural Health Centre, fantastic for massage, and the Fabulous Fabric shop.

I've met people in the past who have been..........well a bit sniffy about Birmingham. Well, I'm born and bred and I love it, particularly this little corner away from the urban sprawl.

Friday, 25 June 2010

To Upcycle or Recycle?

I bought this mirror in a local charity shop for £5. Apart from being a bit grubby (maybe I should have cleaned it before snapping it) it's in perfect condition.

I love these mirrors painted in vibrant hues, I love blanket colour showing off relief work, and was going to paint this teal to hang in my hallway. However, something about that faux goldiness is drawing me in. It's SO not my thing, but would it be a shame to paint it up?

Answers on a postcard.....

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

I love Belle and Boo

My love affair started when Gareth, in a rare flash of excellent taste, bought me the most beautiful Valentine's card I have ever seen. It featured this illustration called 'The Journey' with the tagline You Rock My World.

I love the childish themes, the retro styling and the muted chalky colours. I've since found the cards stocked all over the place, from Paperchase to a little shop in Cologne, and snap them up whenever I can. These are a couple of my favourite designs.

Aren't they cute? As well as there own website, they have an Etsy shop too. I've recently discovered they also sell homewares and even little girls' clothes. God help me.

Monday, 21 June 2010

Knitters, keepers....

I've been trying to get ahead on my Christmas gift knitting and managed to snap up a load of Regia sock yarn from Kemps Wool Shop for the bargainous price of £1.30 a ball. Included was this stripy goodness.

I looooove them. The olive green, the mulberry pink! Even electric blue, not one of my faves at all, looks fab against those earthy browns. The colours are a bit more vibrant in RL, this pic was taken at 9pm. Deliberate lighting ploy you understand, nothing AT ALL to do with me being a Slack Alice and forgetting until now ;)

Anyway, sod the presents, these are so lovely I think they'll be falling off the needles straight onto my tootsies thankyouverymuch.

Tuesday, 15 June 2010

Stick a fork in it...................

It's done!!!

After 2 years, 2745 squares and 4709625476804326739 yards of wool*, THE blankie is finished. This is definitely the most wow factor thing I've ever knitted.

Best of all, it's the yarn that does the talking. Sock yarn in beautifully variegated shades spanning the spectrum. The knitted itself was a breeze, I could watch telly and not look at the needles or ANYTHING!

I did consider a simple black crochet border round the edge to make it look more 'done', but that seems so finite somehow. At the moment, it's about queen bed sized; I *might* decide to add to that at some point. The back is really scruffy too but my plan is not to line it, just keep it facing out!

Next step is to wash it: on a very gentle cycle with a LOT of colour catcher sheets! Then it's onto the back of the sofabed I have to keep in my lounge. It's hideous and I'm hoping this will improve it.

But for now, in all it's glory (and yes, good photography could make it look a lot better but we all know that's not my forte)

And my favourite square; something about this orange one draws my eye every time.

* Numbers may be exaggerated for dramatic purposes.